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The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference agreed on the need to enhance the use of ICTs to address climate change, and on the need for special measures to assist SIDS and landlocked developing countries.

22 October 2010: The 18th International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference, which was held from 4-22 October 2010, in Guadalajara, Mexico, concluded with agreement on ITU’s essential role in several key areas, including bridging the digital divide, accelerating broadband roll-out, and managing climate change and disaster response.

The Plenipotentiary Conference is ITU’s top policymaking body and is held every four years to set ITU’s policy, financial planning, and strategic goals. This year’s Conference was hosted by Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport, and it was attended by over 2,000 participants and observers.

Key resolutions taken at the Conference relate to the need to: have special measures to assist small island developing States (SIDS) and landlocked developing countries, in keeping with the Hyderabad Action Plan; enhance the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in tackling climate change; step up ITU’s activities in the area of emergency communications and humanitarian assistance; develop concrete strategies to stimulate deployment of broadband networks, particularly in developing countries; bridge the standardization gap between developed and developing countries, to help technical experts from the developing world play a more active role in ITU standards development activities; and undertake activities to promote digital inclusion for indigenous peoples.

The Conference also agreed on ITU’s Strategic Plan 2012-2015 and adopted the Financial Plan for the same period. Both plans are aimed at helping ITU to implement the decisions of the Conference during the next four years, until the Plenipotentiary Conference in 2014. Speaking at the Conference, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré underlined his expectations for “dramatic progress” over the next four years, stressing that “ITU will continue to work with our Member States and Sector Members − and indeed stakeholders across the broader ICT sector − to face the changes in the ICT environment; to cooperate with our membership; and to protect the all-important principle of multilateralism and cooperation among the international community in the modern world.” [ITU Press Release] [Conference Website]

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