Friday, February 24, 2017

Pre-WTDC-17: Americas identify priorities on telecom development

Participants at the Regional Preparatory Meeting (RPM) for the Americas ended Friday in Asunción, Paraguay, with the meeting assessing the ongoing implementation of the Dubai Action Plan adopted at ITU's last World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) and identified priority areas for information and communication technology (ICT) development strategies in the Americas, reports ITRealms.

Minister of Finance of the Republic of Paraguay, Mr Santiago Peña, stressed the importance of technology to connect everyone in the country, declaring "Information and communication technologies are key elements of the National Development Plan 2013 to achieve inclusive growth."

For the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Mr. Houlin Zhao said that 2017 is a very important year for the ITU's Telecommunication Development Sector.

"The World Telecommunication Development Conference, to be held later this year, will forge a global plan for telecommunication and ICT development over the next four years. I am pleased to see that significant efforts have been made to engage Members in the preparation of key documents of the Conference," he said.

Also speaking, Ing. Teresita Palacios, President of the National Telecommunication Commission (CONATEL), said that participants at the just concluded regional preparatory meeting were renowned experts, pointing out that the real protagonists of this meeting are the people - the people of the Americas.

“We are all working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through information and communication technologies," CONATEL boss said.

Five draft regional initiatives for the Americas region for the years 2018-2021 were identified at the RPM for discussion and consideration at the upcoming WTDC-17:

Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Communications; Spectrum Management and Transition to Digital Broadcasting; Deployment of Broadband Infrastructure, especially in Rural and Neglected Areas, and Strengthening of Broadband Access to Services and Applications; Accessibility and Affordability for an Inclusive and Sustainable Americas Region; Development of the Digital Economy, Smart Cities and Communities (SCC) & Internet of Things (IoT), promoting innovation.

Equally speaking, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau, Brahima Sanou, said, every day ITU reaffirms the tremendous potential of ICTs to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

"As we embrace a new ecosystem, our actions must go beyond the ICT sector. The ITU's Development Sector will continue to be an active player and facilitator of innovations for sustainable development," he said.

ITRealms recalls that the RPM for the Americas was preceded by the Regional Development Forum (RDF).

Nonye Dom/GEE 
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