April 30, 2020, video conferencing

     The purpose of the dialogue was to discuss and clarify proposals for consideration at TDAG-20, aimed at improving the preparatory process, format and content of the Conference. so that the World Telecommunication Development Conference in 2021 becomes a conference based on solutions to real problems in the development of telecommunications / ICTs.

    The meeting was opened by: Dorin Bogdan-Martin - Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union, Roxanne McElvine Weber - Chairman of the TDAG Bureau and Representative of the Government of Ethiopia.

     The discussion was moderated by Stephen Bero, Deputy Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union.

     The meeting was attended by more than 200 representatives of the telecommunication development industry from Asia, Africa, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The TDAG Web Dialogue Agenda for WRC-21 included the following topics for discussion:

- preparatory process;
- content and structure;
- interaction with stakeholders;
- additional activities.

     Andrea Grippa (Brazil), Kwame Baa-Achemfuor (Ghana) and Christian Flutur (Romania) presented proposals regarding the organization of the preparatory process.

     The main one is the holding of interregional preparatory meetings (IPU), the purpose of which should be to promote agreement between the regions on key issues ahead of the conference.

     Three IPUs are proposed, organized in coordination with regional preparatory meetings. Speakers emphasized that the IPU should have a specific agenda, including the identification of inter-regional projects and inter-regional priorities. A list of coordinators responsible for relevant topics within the region can also be compiled at the IPU. IPU delegates should have the necessary authority to resolve issues at the interregional level.

     Chris Kemei (Kenya) presented proposals for the content and structure of the upcoming WTDC-21. In particular, it was suggested that any approved actions should be related either to the existing ITU-D budget or to the commitments made before or during the conference. It is also proposed to provide that WTDC may consider delegating TDAG discussions on the ITU strategic plan and reformat the high-level political session into thematic events to discuss development issues and clearly defined priorities.

     It is proposed that the issues submitted to the study groups be determined to take into account the needs of members, regional and interregional priorities.

     It is also proposed to analyze the topics of the work of ITU-T, ITU-R and ITU-D study groups in order to identify possible areas of overlap (repetition) or convergence.

     According to the organizers of the dialogue, regional organizations could develop a limited number of “regional priorities”, based on an agreed list of development issues submitted to the conference.

     On the issue of interaction with interested parties, it is proposed to create lists of key invited participants for each composite group, including a shortlist of “stars”, in order to ensure their participation in WTDC.

     The proposal is justified by the need to strengthen partnerships with the private sector, educational institutions, and civil society. The same purpose could be provided by conducting preparatory activities to attract target participants and providing them with the opportunity to co-chair the sessions announced on the WTDC agenda. The organizers consider it appropriate and the development of a target advertising company for WTDC.

     Anna-Rachel Inn presented proposals for organizing additional events that are held on a carefully selected topic (s), with a clear agenda, by interested parties, and to discuss specific ways to resolve the issue. Development topics can be organized around key areas, such as “regional priorities”. Representatives of all interested parties can participate in such events in order to increase the chances of interaction and interest. It is proposed that additional events be made an integral part of the WTDC, a part of the “development theme” in addition to the current conference program.

     The dialogue participants were given the opportunity to make their assessment of proposals for the organization of WTDC-21. Vladimir Minkin (Chairman of the RCC Working Group on Work with ITU) noted during the discussion that the preparation for the conference would be facilitated by the opening of a web page, as well as the definition of the main theme of WTDC-21. Referring to the work of the Study Groups, he noted that for their evaluation it is necessary to analyze how effectively the issues raised at the previous conference were resolved. The issues submitted for consideration in the next cycle should take into account regional priorities.

     The proposal to analyze the previous work of the study groups was supported by Arseniy Plosky, who also noted that the holding of the Ministry of Railways and the interregional exchange of contacts of coordinators on selected topics would contribute to the quality preparation for WTDC. Speaking about additional activities, he noted that their implementation should not be reflected in the main program.

     The discussion was summed up by Stephen Bero, Dorin Bogdan-Martin and Roxanne McElvine Weber, noting that the web resource for preparing for WTDC-21 will begin work on May 8 and agree with the proposal to determine the main topic of the upcoming conference.

     Dorin Bogdan-Martin invited participants to seminars organized by the Bureau in May 2020 and encouraged them to actively use the attention that government structures give to ICT in the context of countering the COVID-19 epidemic.

Representatives of the RCC Executive Committee also participated in the above meeting:

- Zorya N.E., Deputy General Director;

- Kadyrkulov A.A., Deputy General Director;

- Sergeev B.I., Head of the CIS and Digital Development Sector;

- Skvortsova N.V., acting Deputy Head of the CIS and Digital Development Sector;

- Skvortsov V.E., Chief Specialist of the Sector for Work with the CIS and Digital Development;

- Marufov S.I., Leading Specialist of the CIS and Digital Development Sector.

Preparations for WTDC-21 will continue.