The World Telecommunication Development Conference 2014 (WTDC-14) concluded on Thursday, April 10th, 2014. Starting on March 30th, the global event took place at the Dubai World Trade Centre and saw the participation of 1314 industry stakeholders and 51 ICT Ministers from 137 countries. The agreements made and the 74 international resolutions drafted during the course of the conference seek to answer the most prominent telecommunication development questions and establish priorities, direction and guidance for the work programme of the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) over the next four-year period.
The conference started on 30th March with an opening speech delivered by H.E. Mohamed Bin Ahmed Al Qamzi, Chairman of TRA who stressed the strategic importance of hosting this event in the United Arab Emirates.
As the official Chairman of the WTDC-14 and head host nation delegation H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General, said, “I would like to commend the effort and dedication on display from all members present at WTDC-14. With two weeks of rigorous debate and discussion, the level of enthusiasm on the conference floor was astounding. With the adoption of the Dubai Action Plan, the delegates at WTDC-14 have expressed their intention to accelerate the expansion and use of ICTs to secure economic growth right across the world.”
H.E. Al Ghanim also delivered the conference closing speech where he expressed his gratitude to all participants of WTDC-14. H.E. Al Ghanim thanked all in attendance for their involvement which ensured the event met its objectives and ultimately, was a success.
Conference adopts Dubai Action Plan
At the end of the conference, the ITU issued Dubai Declaration 2014 for the period (2014-2018) which included 20 articles focusing on the below:
Universal and affordable access to telecommunications and information and communication technologies is essential for the world’s economic, social and cultural development, and contributes to building a global economy and information society. Widespread access to and accessibility of telecommunications and information and communication technologies applications and services provide new socio-economic opportunities for all people.
The objectives outlined in the Plan are:
1.To foster international cooperation on telecommunication and ICT issues
2.To foster an enabling environment conductive to ICT development and foster the development of ICT networks as well as relevant applications and services, including bridging the standardization gap
3.To enhance confidence and security in the use of ICTs and roll out of relevant applications and services
4.To build human and institutional capacity, promote digital inclusion and provide concentrated assistance to countries in special need
5.To enhance climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster management efforts through telecommunications and ICTs
During WTDC-14, a number of resolutions were approved regarding regional initiatives and in regard to the Arab region, Eng. Nasser Bin Hammad, Director of International Affairs, TRA said, “Approving the Arab Regional initiatives was certainly one of the highlights of the conference. The delegates present unanimously approved the policy document submitted by the Arab team leading the session.” “The regional initiatives adopted at the conference reflect the shared Arab vision for the future of the Telecommunication Development Sector and the desire to pursue a course of sustainable development over the next four years,” he added.
Forming an Executive Committee to oversee hosting the conference:
The work of the executive committee, formed prior to the event to oversee all preparations relating to the conference, officially concluded its operations. The Council of Ministers was formed under the chairmanship of H.E. Dr. Abdulqader Ibrahim Al Khayyat, a member of the TRA’s Board of Directors and President of the ICT Fund. The committee coordinated efforts with all concerned parties and UAE stakeholders and provided support to ITU on all logistic, technical and protocol matters to ensure the success of the occasion.
The Council membership also included H.E. Walid Al Mansouri, a member of the TRA’s Board of Directors, H.E. Director General of the TRA and representatives from other relevant national entities including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior (represented by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs) and Dubai Police (represented by the Critical Infrastructure Protection Authority).
Before concluding, the conference witnessed the approval of a list of nominees for the various leadership positions in the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector. Two individuals from the UAE were nominated for senior leadership positions in ITU-D: Mr Mohamed Saeed Ali Al Muathen Al Mazrooei as Vice-Chairman of the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector Advisory Group (TDAG) and Mr Nasser Al Marzouqi as Vice-Chairman of the ITU-D Study Group 2.
Commenting on the nominations, H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al said, “The UAE nominations for membership in two of the most important teams operating within the ITU-D is the result, in part, of the ongoing commitment of the UAE represented by the TRA, to support the ITU scope of work. I applaud the two UAE representatives nominated for ITU-D positions.”
Represented by the TRA, the UAE was also nominated for membership on the Radio Regulations Board with the elections for which taking place at ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 (PP-14) in Busan, Republic of Korea on October 20th – November 7th, 2014.
H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim delivered the closing speech of the conference where he expressed his thanks and appreciation for all participating delegations and dignitaries for their efforts which had a profound impact on the success of the conference. H.E. Al Ghanim also honoured H.E. the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union, Dr Hamadoun Toure, his deputy, and all the directors of the three ITU sectors, in addition to the heads of the five committees and working groups of the conference.