International Telecommunication Union: International standardization within the technological sphere
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs).
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference is set to take place this week in Bucharest from 26 September – 14 October 2022 to elect the organization’s new leadership. ITU membership consists of 193 member states and over 800 private sector and academic institutions.
ITU is one of the international standards developing organizations (SDOs) working on a range of topics such as fixed networks, international numbering, quality of service, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Intelligent transport systems, quantum information technologies, digital transformation, climate change, environmental sustainability, e-waste, smart sustainable cities, cybersecurity, among others.
Dr. Bilel Jamoussi from Tunisia, has served for over 12 years as the Chief of the ITU Study Group Department and is the Candidate Director of Telecommunication Standardization Bureau
(TSB). The Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) of the ITU is a position at the level of Assistant Secretary General to the United Nations. If elected, he would become the first representative from the African and Arab region in the 157-year history of ITU to lead ITU’s standards sector.
Dr. Jamoussi elaborated that the ITU standardization work is carried out within technical groups known as ITU-T Study Groups. Prior to leading the ITU Study Group Department, he was a private sector veteran and is a holder of 23 patents. With the diverse stakeholders that ITU has for its standards-making, Dr. Jamoussi has been actively working not only to ensure private sector industry participation in ITU but also inclusion of developing countries to bridge the standardization gap in terms of standards creation and its implementation – to ensure that no one is left behind.
Dr. Jamoussi was in Delhi last month to lead the ITU Regional Standardization Forum (RSF) on “Regulatory and Policy aspects of Telecommunications/ICTs” and Bridging the Standardization Gap ( BSG) training organized by ITU and hosted by the Ministry of Communications of India.
“I am happy to note that India has been an active member of the ITU for many years and has shown a strong commitment and leadership to the ITU. India has offered to host one of our biggest conferences – World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly that takes place once in four years, in 2024. India will also be hosting Area Office & Innovation Centre of ITU in Delhi to serve the ITU Member States of South-Asia.” he added.
“I firmly believe in a more transparent, efficient, and inclusive ITU and that no one should be left behind in the ongoing digital revolution.” Dr Jamoussi said.
“I am now running for the post of Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) of the ITU, with the full endorsement of the Tunisian Government, League of Arab States, African Union, and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Diversity and inclusion are critical. Everyone should have access to use and develop ICTs effectively.” he adds.
His vision for ITU’s Standardization Sector is based on three pillars: Relevant, Inclusive, and Transformational Standards – all of which are integral for the sustained success of the ITU’s standardization sector.
During his tenure as Chief of the ITU Study Group Department, Dr. Jamoussi has spearheaded the launch of several UN-led initiatives including the AI for Road Safety and the United for Smart Sustainable Cities ( U4SSC) and also led the organization of one of ITU’s pivotal conferences, World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-20).
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