(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) itu wtdc opens in dubai; ?broadband for sustainable development? in focus
The sixth itu world telecommunication development conference or wtdc-14 opened on sunday with a call to achieve universal broadband connectivity and stem the endemic inequality of access.
Mohamed nasser al ghanim director-general of the telecommunications regulatory authority of the uae who was elected chairman of the conference set the tone of the conference by calling for solutions to overcome the widening digital divide.
He reminded the participants that one of the most persisting concerns that face all is the “digital divide”.
“serious practical solutions are required to close the gap and stem this endemic inequality of access.”
Mohamad al qamzi mohamed nasser al ghanem and dr hamadoun toure speaking at the sixth itu world telecommunication development conference in dubai on sunday. — kt photos by leslie pableo
Under the theme “broadband for sustainable development” the conference focuses on development priorities in telecommunications and information and communication technologies. it will seek to agree on the programmes projects and initiatives to implement them.
“wtdc-14 represents a pivotal moment in the global ict agenda with much of the decisions and agreements made here in dubai having a positive impact right across the world” tra chairman mohamad al qamzi said in a statement.
“we all gather with the same intention that being to extend the benefits of ict to those who need it most and propel the world one step closer to the full implementation of a genuine global information society. owing to the significance of the event the preparation behind the scenes for wtdc-14 has been meticulous and the entire nation looks forward to the rest of the conference with great promise” he added.
“without doubt the opening day was an overwhelming success and as the official wtdc-14 host nation the uae is confident that the momentum generated [today] until the closing stages on april 10 will discuss and [there are] key decisions to make in order to collectively identify the ict development priorities for the next four years.”
Al ghanim noted that the focus on the theme “broadband for sustainable development” brings attention to the critical aspect of leading edge ict in enhancing a nation’s development.
“since the beginning of this millennium mobile cellular subscriptions have continued to rise social media usage has rocketed and an ever-increasing number of people across the globe have been able to access the internet making use of the immeasurable quantity of information that greater connectivity provides.”
Itu secretary-general dr hamadoun toure said at the opening ceremony that icts and in particular broadband networks offer the greatest opportunity to make rapid and profound advances in global social and economic development.
“by delivering efficiencies across so many areas from education and healthcare to transportation water and energy broadband networks can quickly pay for themselves creating a virtuous circle of investment productivity and human development” said dr toure.
The director of itu’s telecommunication development bureau brahima sanou said that in the recent past the growth of icts and their relevance in advancing the economic and social well being of people have been extraordinary. “yet despite progress significant challenges remain.”
One of the expected outcomes of wtdc-14 is the dubai action plan — which will set the agenda for telecommunication and information and communication technologies development over the next four years.
The dialogue which will shape the future of the telecommunication and ict sector and its contribution to social and economic development will focus on sound policies and regulatory frameworks that will foster investment and further develop telecom/ict networks. it will also debate on improved access to ict applications to provide people with services such as education health and empower them with the means to achieve sustainable development.
Another focus will be on increased safety and security in the use of telecoms/icts and capacity building in the area of icts.
Wtdc-14 opened with the screening of a film on telecommunication and ict development. some 1650 participants from around 150 countries attended the conference’s opening including over 60 ministers and high-level delegates.
An executive strategic dialogue on broadband for sustainable development was held on march 29.
Some 1650 participants from around 150 countries attended the opening including over 60 ministers and high-level delegates.
The event provided a platform for an interactive debate on the trends challenges and opportunities of the telecom/ict sector. in particular it focused on strategies and policies directed towards broadband development worldwide.
Noting that there are almost 1.5 billion smartphones in use and that number is likely to double in the next few years dr toure said the broadband universe is evolving incredibly quickly especially with the advent of mobile broadband which is the fastest growing technology in human history.
“most of this growth will come in developing countries if the pattern of recent years continues to be repeated — with 90 per cent of the mobile growth and over 80 per cent of the growth in internet users coming from the developing world over the past four years.”
Dr toure stressed that we need to continue measuring progress in order to see what still needs to be done and added: “what we decide and define here in dubai over the next two weeks will shape not just the future of ict development over the next four years — but the future shape of the very world we live in.”