June 13, 2012
The Arab Telecommunications Ministers Council held its 16th meeting in Oran, Algeria on Tuesday 5th of June 2012 to discuss a number of issues pertaining to the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sectors in Arab countries. The UAE was represented by a delegation headed by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). The delegation was comprised of other TRA officials also included representatives from Emirates Post and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications (du).
The meeting discussed a number of issues on its agenda including: the activities of the operations and tariff team; the results of the work performed by the Arab team for Standardization Affairs; the activities of the Arab regional office of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Cairo; the activities of the Arab Organization for telecommunications and information in Tunisia; and the roadmap initiative for internet governance in the Arab region. The meeting shed light on the outcomes of the Arab Developmental Summit that welcomed the project of linking internet networks in Arab countries, and encouraged proceeding with the implementation of the project.
Commenting on the meeting, H.E. Al Ghanim said: “During their meetings, the Arab Telecommunications Ministers continually discuss a wide range of important issues related to the sector that are of great interest to all Arab countries; these meetings aim to promote multi-lateral coordination and cooperation between ICT sectors in the Arab World thereby improving the links between these sectors, enhancing the level of services provided to users in every Arab State.”
He added: “The UAE is keen to participate in events that gather Arab brothers; therefore, we participated in previously held telecommunications ministerial meetings, partaking in the preparation work for this meeting and in committee and workforces of this council, and hosted the Arab League Permanent Committee for Telecommunications and Information meetings, and other similar events. Considering the leading position the UAE enjoys with relation to ICT fields, we are always ready to share our expertise and knowledge with our Arab brothers in order to elevate the Arab collective work that benefits all Arab States.”
The delegation at the 16th meeting reviewed the outcomes of the Connect Arab Summit held in Doha, Qatar during 5-7 March 2012, in which several important topics were discussed including access and infrastructure, digital content, confidence building and security in using ICT, and innovation in the Arab region.
The ministers also deliberated on the Radio Communications Assembly meeting held in Geneva during 16-20 January 2012, and the outcomes of the World Radio Communications Conference held in Geneva during 23 January and 17 February 2012. The delegates congratulated the UAE for chairing the World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC) by Eng. Tariq Al Awadhi, they also praised the Arab spectrum workforce concerned with the preparations for the conference for the role it played, and lauded the team members for their efforts that led to positive results for the Arab region. Issues related to broadband and ways to promote links between Arab states were also addressed; Arab Top Domain names ( .عرب ) of which the UAE was mandated to handle the operation and management on behalf of the Arab League under the supervision of the General Secretariat and the steering committee of the project. The UAE mandate was ratified during the meeting of Telecommunications Ministers held in Beirut on 2 February 2012.
The ministers meeting prior to the conclusion of the session stressed the importance of the participation of all Arab countries in the significant international event of the ITU including the ones to be organized for the first time on the Middle Eastern level, especially the events in Dubai: the ITU exhibition (Telecom Al Etihad) from 14-18 October 2012; the International Telecommunications Standardization Assembly taking place from 19-29 November 2012; and the International Telecommunications Conference to be held on 13-14 December 2012. Upon the conclusion of the meeting, the date and venue of the 17th Arab Telecommunications Ministers Council meeting was decided to be in Cairo, Egypt on 12 June 2013. Additionally, it was decided that the 34th session for the executive council of Arab Telecommunications Ministers would be held one day before the 17th meeting.