Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Russian govt lifts ITU with $5.3m

The Russian Federation, at the weekend disclosed it has significantly increased its financial support to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

This means that Russia has raised its ‘contributory units’ from ten to fifteen, amounting to CHF 4,777,000, or about USD 5.32 million at current exchange rates.

Each ‘contributory unit’ which ITU Member States provide on a voluntary basis is about CHF 318,000, which could be improved.

Director General of the Department of International Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr. Andrei Mukhanov, who represented the Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications, Mr. Igor Shchegolev, made this known to ITU management. 

This increase, he said, is in addition to the CHF 5 million contributions from the Russian Federation towards the refurbishment of ITU’s main conference hall, now dedicated to Alexander Stepanovich Popov (1859-1906), the Russian physicist who first demonstrated the practical application of electromagnetic waves.

He also cited the significant work of ITU in coordinating telecommunications development worldwide; adding that without telecommunications the world could no longer lead a normal life.

“We therefore wish to develop, strengthen and enhance the role of ITU in the future as the leading international organization in information and communication technologies,” Mr. Mukhanov quoted as saying.

Accepting the contribution, ITU Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Houlin Zhao said the Russian Federation is a Founding Member of ITU and has consistently supported ITU in its endeavours.

Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré recalled his meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last June when Mr. Putin said Russia was determined to contribute to the work of the Union and to strengthen the collaboration with the organization.

“The support of the Russian Federation, and especially the substantial increase in the financial contribution to ITU, reaffirms the country’s long-standing dedication to ITU and its commitment to connect the world,” Dr Touré said.

Russian political support for ITU in its 146-year history along with its technical and scientific expertise, he noted, has contributed immensely to the growth and development of information and communication technologies globally.

Dr Touré pointed out that Russian contribution has been particularly significant in the areas of space exploration and radiocommunication.

“It is poignant that we have been informed of this very welcome gesture of support from the Russian Federation in this conference hall which only this week was dedicated to the Russian pioneer and scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov,” he said.

Remmy Nweke:

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