28 June 2013

World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT)

Why is everyone talking about WCIT?

The first ever World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) will convene 3-14 December 2012 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Here the 193 member states of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will review and likely make modifications to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), which define the general principles for the provision and operation of international telecommunications. The ITRs are a global treaty, agreed upon in 1988 and have not been updated since. Ongoing preparations for the WCIT meeting include both edits to current text and proposals for new treaty text, and are conducted by the ITU Council Working Group on WCIT(CWG-WCIT) and through Regional Prepatory Meetings. A report identifying possible modifications, additions and deletions will be submitted to the conference following the last CWG-WCIT meeting. All the documents will then be discussed during the WCIT in December. The documents under discussion are only available to ITU Members.

Participation at the WCIT in Dubai is restricted to Member States of the ITU, ITU Sector Members, and invited international organizations. It is only the Member States who will vote throughout the two-week session on suggested edits and additions to the ITR text. The outcome of the conference will be a new ITR treaty.

On 15 August, the ITU issued a press release announcing a Public Consultation on WCIT. It includes links to a WCIT FAQ and the current ITRs, as well as other important information.

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