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November 9, 1994

TELECOMMUNICATIONS UNION TO BECOME MORE EFFECTIVE

By CBR Staff Writer

The 14th Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunications Union in Kyoto has made decisions on four main issues: enhanced participation of industry and other organisations in the Union’s work; greater focus on development; stronger involvement in the policy domain; and the strengthening of the financial base of the organisation. To encourage greater involvement in the Union, it was decided that operators, scientific and industrial organisations, financial and development institutions, and international organisations of sectoral members may be granted observer status to Plenipotentiary Conferences. Stronger ties In addition, new principles of participation were adopted. As well as resolving that members’ levels of contribution should be a free choice, the conference ruled that members of a sector would be entitled to have access to all information related to the work of the sector; it was further decided that they may submit contributions and take part in the decision-making process of the sector’s activities, apart from issues of structure and the functioning of the Union. On the development side, the Union resolved to develop stronger ties with regional organisations to improve regional telecommunication development. As part of this drive, the the Union said it intended to foster participation from the private sector and strengthen the role of its regional offices. A thrust for stronger involvement in the policy domain was signified by the formation of the World Telecommunication Policy Forum to implement the resolutions of the Nice Plenipotentiary Conference and the Geneva conference of 1992. The Union said it wanted to strengthen its financial base with the development of a cost attribution framework and has plans to assist the Palestinian Authority, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liberia, Somalia and Rwanda in improving their telecommunications networks. In addition, a Policy Forum was also created to offer a platform to discuss global policy issues and an agreement was made that the funding of the Buenos Aires Action Plan for telecommunication development would be given priority, in terms of development, to stem the widening development gap. Other resolutions adopted included the cutting of international red tape to provide quicker telecommunications support to aid disaster relief and the investigation of unauthorised calling procedures and call-back services.

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