Abu Dhabi: TRA Director-General Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri has announced that the UAE will be hosting the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference in 2018 in Dubai.

Participating members will elect the ITU’s high management, including the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, Directors for Radio Communications, Standardization, Development, members of the council and 12 members of the Radio Regulations Board.

Al Mansouri is leading a high-level delegation from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), representing the UAE at the 2016 session of the International Telecommunication Union, which opened on May 25 and will run until June 2 at the ITU’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The TRA is an elected member of the council, which is composed of 48 member countries out of the ITU’s 193 members. This is the countries third time to be elected and its eleventh time to participate in the council sessions demonstrating the UAE’s leading position across the international telecommunications industry and a reflection of the global appreciation for its contributions towards development and humanitarian causes.

During their participation at the sessions, the TRA presented an input contribution that highlights the significance of smart transformation in the election process adopted by the ITU. In its presentation, the TRA urged the ITU to take a more proactive step by shifting its gears from traditional election practices to utilising the latest technological advancements to implement a smart electronic election process that is in compliance with set international smart guidelines and regulations.

The 2016 Session of the ITU Council includes discussions on key topics related to the telecommunications segment, particularly across general policies and strategy. The committee’s various working groups is also expected to present their reports on timely issues like the results of the implementation of the outcomes from the previous World Summit on Information Society and Sustainable Development, international internet related public policy issues and their activities, strengthening the role of ITU in building confidence and security in the use of ICTs, child protection online and the official use of six languages for the ITU. Other points to be discussed include the scheduling of future conferences, assemblies and meetings of the union and presentation of other reports for approval by the council.

“The UAE continues in its move to take proactive and innovative steps in the telecommunications industry, which is reflected in our active participation in global industry related events, hosting various forums and show of support for ITU activities and initiatives. We look forward to the next council sessions and affirm our continued commitment to support them in their endeavours, especially in the efforts to achieve sustainable development goals,” said Al Mansouri.

Al Mansouri added, the wise leadership of the UAE always encourages to investment in ICT, given that this sector is the backbone of economic development in the post-oil period. For which UAE began to prepare at all levels.

In this context, the UAE government is working to strengthen the related strategic initiatives such as smart government and smart cities initiative, including the big data, open data, and internet of Things.

Also, UAE is sparing no effort to lend advice and assistance to other countries as it boasts proactive and advanced experience and can take advantage of them and build on them to serve other countries in terms of human interaction in which we believe in, word and deed.

Meanwhile, Nasser Bin Hammad, Director — International Affairs, TRA and member of the Radio Regulations Board, explained that the TRA’s recommendations to adopt a smart election process is based on the UAE’s experiences in the shift towards smart transformation, following the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership.

The TRA is encouraging ITU to use smart electronic systems for its election process which will drive in key advantages like faster results, efficient scheduling, low cost, reliable, transparent, accurate and reduces the occurrence of human and mechanical errors. The move is considered to be a proactive step among world organisations like ITU and complements the rapid changes being made in today’s ITC landscape.