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International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22) : Over 3,000 leaders and delegates from 193 countries gather in Bucharest to set the global direction of the digital transformation

Romania is the first country in the European Union to organize this large-scale event

Over 3,000 leaders and delegates from 193 countries gather in Bucharest between September 26 and October 14, 2022, to set the global direction of the digital transformation and to elect the future leadership of the International Telecommunication Union – agency of the United Nations for information and communication technology.

Romania is the first country in the European Union to organize this large-scale event, where will be established the general policies of the ITU, as well as the strategic and financial plans for the period 2024 – 2027, which cover the entire activity of the organization, but, first of all, critical issues around digital inclusion and bridging the digital divide, how best to leverage artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G and next to 6G networks, along with other new and emerging technologies.

Partners of the event, alongside the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) and the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Tourism (MAT), are the following Romanian institutions: the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, the General Secretariat of the Government, the Finance Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitization, the Health Ministry, the Ministry of Culture, the Bucharest City Hall, the Special Telecommunications Service (STS), the Protection and Guard Service (SPP) and the Romanian Television Society.

 

Grindeanu: Romania committed to spending  1.8 billion euros for digital development

 

Romania will spend 1.8 billion euros for digital development, the most significant financial contribution included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, the Minister of Transport, Sorin Grindeanu, said on Monday, at the opening of the global conference of the International Telecommunication Union organized in Bucharest.

“We benefit from quality and affordable services. We are proud of our specialized workforce in the IT field. Romania occupies the leading position in all global statistics of digital development: 85% of fixed wireless internet connections allow download speeds of at least 100 Mbps. With all, however, we are aware that our efforts to develop this area must continue. We are considering further developing digital public services, connectivity, cyber security, and digital skills. To this end, we have committed to spend 1.8 billion euros for Romania’s digital development, the most significant financial contribution to Romania’s development included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR),” Grindeanu wrote on his Facebook page.

He stated that it is an honor for Romania to be the host country of the Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the International Telecommunication Union because it confirms the progress made in the last decade by our country in this field.

Last but not least, he conveyed that “the way we live and use this technological advance dictates the development of our economies and societies.”

 

Russia is present at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Bucharest with content specialists

 

Russia is present at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22) in Bucharest with content specialists, said Sabin Sarmas, the president of the 21st edition of the international event at the Palace of the Parliament.

“I had a short dialogue with the Russian delegation. I think there are more than ten present. All their specialists are here, all the people who deal with the content. I understand that they did not receive the visa, but this is a piece of information that I would like to ask you to verify, some of their staff helping them during the conference. What the causes were I couldn’t tell you, but all their specialists are here. From that point of view I felt they were satisfied. It seems other countries had members who did not receive a visa and it would be good for that to be checked. There is an accreditation process, a delegation assumed by the member country, some credentials must be taken from the ITU. There are two parallel processes: the ITU verifies and says that it is okay, and the Romanian state can say for one reason or another that it cannot accept a citizen in Romania,” Sarmas explained.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, on Saturday, in a press release, that entry visas were granted to all 17 officials designated by the Russian Federation as members of the official delegation of this state at the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22) in Bucharest, as per the request of the Russian side. On the other hand, visas were revoked for journalists “abusively notified” as officials, among the reasons being Romania’s national security.

 

New secretary general of ITU to be known Thursday

 

The name of the new secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will be known on Thursday, at noon, said Sabin Sarmas, the president of the event, on the sidelines of the Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22) of the ITU in Bucharest.

“The first week is about the elections. There will be policy statements (…) after which, in the second week, after we have the elections that start on Thursday and end on Monday, the way of working on the resolutions will be intensified. We will know the name of the secretary general (of the ITU, ed. n.) on Thursday, at noon. Afterwards, the other four officials are elected. All 193 ITU member countries vote. The majority decides, and the one with the fewest votes leaves the competition. Regarding the discussion topics, each country comes up with proposals. However, there are some important things: Internet governance – how it should look, how free and how regulated, then cyber security, artificial intelligence, OTTs, i.e. services like WhatsApp or YouTube – from the perspective of some telecommunications companies, those who have such services should pay, because they use the telecommunications structure without paying anything. There are other countries that say that it is not good to do this and to keep things as they are. There are things that are negotiated a lot,” Sarmas explained.

“Another new topic, but one that arouses great interest, is related to how we use technology in moments of crisis – pandemic, war. Romania worked within the European group on many of these proposals, it does not have a proposal itself. It contributed to over ten proposals. The vast majority of the specialists who worked are from ANCOM (National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications, ed. n.) and contributed to Europe’s proposals. In general, the proposals come from the regions,” stated the president of the PP conference -22 of ITU.

The Romanian official also mentioned that the private sector in Romania can build a solid business through the relationship it could have with the International Telecommunication Union.

The international conference will have one of the most important topics on the agenda, namely the election of the five high officials of the ITU: the secretary general, the deputy secretary general and the directors of the offices of radiocommunications, standardization in telecommunications and development of telecommunications – who will guide the organization’s activity in the next four years.

Thus, once the mandate of the current general secretary of the ITU, Houlin Zhao, expires, according to the organization’s regulations, new elections must be organized, and two people have submitted their candidacy for this position: Doreen Bogdan Martin from the USA and Rashid Ismailov from the Russian Federation.

 

Compiled from Agerpres

 

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