Reinforcing UAE’s leading position in information communications technology (ICT), Eng. Saif Bin Ghalaita, Executive Director of Technology Development Affairs Department, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), was elected as the Vice Chairman of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council and Eng. Abdul Aziz Al Zarooni, Information Security Engineer at the TRA, was named as the Chairman of the Working Group on Child Online Protection initiative of ITU. As well as Eng. Tariq Al Awadhi, Executive Director of Spectrum Management at the TRA, chaired the Arab Group during the conference. The selection was announced on the concluding day of the ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18), which was held at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
The achievement reflects the on-going efforts of the UAE in ICT sector and acknowledges the outstanding potentials of the UAE citizens, who have, time and again, proved their competence in scientific, economic and cultural fields.
Commenting on his selection, Eng. Bin Ghalaita said, “I am proud to be representing my country in this important position and I will work hard to implement the policies and promote initiatives that serve the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and help in implementation of our national policies. Also, I will spare no effort to achieve the vision of ITU in ICT, which is the driving force behind the prosperity and development of people, worldwide.”
He added “The ITU Council is ITU’s governing body and its role is to consider broad telecommunication policy issues and ensure that the Union's activities, policies and strategies are equipped to handle today's dynamic and rapidly changing telecommunications environment.”
Eng. Bin Ghalaita stressed that the UAE’s future-ready leaders have always proved that they are capable of leading global positions. He added, “We are the children of Zayed, we have learnt from and have grown up in the presence of great leaders. They have wanted us to emerge as examples in success and leadership.”
A noteworthy instance, Eng. Tariq Al Awadhi, Executive Director for Spectrum Management at the TRA, chaired the Arab Group, one of the member groups out of a total of five that proposed their technological contributions and accessed the state of ICT in their countries. The Arab Group offered technical contributions and presented its role in enhancing the ICT sector in the Arab region. The UAE is positioned at the forefront to lead the smart transformation, connecting the world and building the right infrastructure , hence we are happy to lead the Arab Group .
Eng. Abdulaziz Al Zarooni said, “It is a great honor for me to lead a team that protects the younger generation from the perils of cybercrime, which is one of the more serious threats faced by children today. As part of this team, our workload is overwhelming, especially at a time when most countries of the world are adopting smart education policies that facilitate easy internet access to children and hence making them more vulnerable to cybercrime.”
“We will work collaboratively with other sectors to create a safe digital community for children while enabling them to surf the internet. We will do this by adopting a comprehensive approach towards promoting child safety on the internet and by developing strategies that cover five key areas, including legal, technical and procedural measures, organizational structure, capacity-building and international cooperation,” he explained.
Eng. Al Zarooni also mentioned that the UAE is at the forefront when it comes to leading the international forums and is active in decision-making and shaping global policies. He said that this success is a testament to UAE’s distinguished position in hosting and participating in important international events like the recently concluded 20th edition of Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai.
It is notable that the task force involved in Child Online Protection initiative aims to create a safe and empowering digital community for children around the world. The team also helps Member States implement these initiatives. The initiative came into being during the wake of multiple child frauds on the internet, fueled by proliferation of smart devices and unlimited access to internet.
The 20th Plenipotentiary Conference, held in Dubai from 29th October to 16th November 2018, closed with the signing of the Final Acts. The Conference attracted more than 2300 participants from 180 countries this year, up from 171 countries in 2014.