December 16 - 18, 2021, via videoconference

The Sixth ITU Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF-21), organized by videoconference, took place from 16 to 18 December.

The event was attended by over 350 delegates from member countries, as well as observers from international and regional organizations. The meeting was attended by representatives of the CAs of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation, as well as employees of the Executive Committee.

The meeting opened with a welcoming speech by ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao, and ITU Sector Leaders also attended. The Forum was chaired by Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digital Development of Ghana.

According to the Decision 611 adopted at the 2019 session of the ITU Council, WTPF-21 was dedicated to the following theme: “Policies for mobilizing new and emerging telecommunication / ICT technologies for sustainable development”.

The Forum discussed how new and emerging digital technologies and trends are creating conditions for the global transition to the digital economy. The agenda of the event included the election of the governing bodies of the Forum, the report of the ITU Secretary General, presentation of the positions of the Communications Administrations and international communications organizations, as well as the preparation of documents within the framework of working groups.

Representative of the Republic of Belarus A.O. Mokryagin.

The working part of the meeting opened with a report by the ITU Secretary-General, presented by his Deputy Malcolm Johnson.

Representatives of Bahrain, Mauritius, Namibia, Colombia, Japan, Lithuania, Indonesia, India, Chile, Kenya, Romania, Malaysia, Gambia, USA, European Union, SAMENA organization, and Huawei company took part in the debate on this report.

Deputy Minister of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan Rovshan Rustamov and Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation Bella Cherkesova shared with the participants about the progress achieved in matters of digital development in their countries, as well as about their vision of the prospects for ICT development.

On December 17-18, 2021, meetings of the Working Groups were held, at which contributions to the following documents were discussed:

Draft Opinion 1. An enabling environment for the development and deployment of new and emerging telecommunication / ICT services and technologies to promote sustainable development.

Draft Opinion 2. The ability to establish affordable and secure connections to mobilize new and emerging telecommunication / ICT technologies for sustainable development.

Draft Opinion 3. Digital Literacy and Digital Skills for Universal Access.

Draft Opinion 4. New and emerging technologies and services to promote the use of telecommunications / ICTs for sustainable development.

Draft Opinion 5. Using telecommunications / ICTs to prepare for and respond to COVID-19 and future pandemics and epidemics.

The working groups were chaired by Roberto Mitsuaki Hirayama (Brazil), Lydia Stepinskaya-Stasyak (Poland), Jim Paterson (South Africa).

Topics covered include AI, IoT, 5G, big data and OTT. In particular, the discussion at WTPF-21 focused on relevant opportunities, challenges and policies for sustainable development.

The results of the Forum were summed up by the Chairman of the WTPF-21 Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who congratulated the participants on the upcoming holidays and thanked all the participants for the high work in the WTPF-21.