When the new session of the Council of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), meets to begin its work for the next four years, The Bahamas will be seated at one of the Council’s 48 member states. The Bahamas was successful in its first bid to sit on council gaining the vote of 162 member states, out of a possible 177 present and voting.
The election to Council took place during the second week of the ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference, (ITUPP) currently underway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE. The ITU PP is the supreme organ of the ITU at which the ITU’s 193 member states meet once every four years to elect the ITU’s top executive officials and the 48 member states that will make up the Council. The Council serves as the governing body of the ITU between Plenipotentiary Conferences and ensures oversight of the ITU’s activities, policies, and strategies. The Bahamas will represent Region A, the Americas, along with Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, and the United States. The Bahamas’ ballot was cast by members of The Bahamas’ Delegation to the ITU PP, led by Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of The Prime Minister, the Hon. Pakesia Parker Edgecombe. Mrs. Parker Edgecombe also presented the Bahamas Policy Statement on ICT during the first week of the conference.
During the brief statement, Parker Edgecombe outlined the government’s accomplishments in ICTs and shared proposed plans for the further development of this sector. She told more than 1500 delegates from more than 170 countries, that the Government of The Bahamas has introduced a “Community Development Partnership Initiative” which aims to:
• Strengthen the use of smart technology by public institutions by facilitating increased access to broadband Develop apps and websites to assist in the dissemination of critical information to the public –among them, a national alert messaging system to be used during national disasters…
• Facilitate greater public online communication access through the establishment of strategic WIFI hotspots throughout the country.
The full policy statement can be found at https://www.itu.int/web/pp-18/en/speech/123
The International Telecommunications Union is the United Nations Agency which specializes in Information Communication Technologies, ICTs. It promotes innovation, accessibility, and inclusion by setting rules and regulations which governs the following:
• the allocation of global radio spectrum and satellite orbits;
• the development of technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect;
• policies and programmes to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
The Bahamas government is officially represented at the ITU by the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority, URCA. The conference continues with working groups focusing on critical issues which currently impacts the seamless connectivity and inclusion of all persons around the world in the digital revolution as well as the elimination of the digital divide within the unserved and underserved communities. The Bahamas will be continued to be represented at the ITU PP throughout its work, by delegates from URCA who will be joined by Minister of State in the Office of the Attorney General Elsworth Johnson, as the Conference moves toward negotiation, agreement, and signature of the Final Acts.