ITU 'informal forum summit' promotes industry cooperation

11 August 2003 Geneva, Lightwave Europe -- Over 30 of the world's most important standards making organisations have agreed on a "mission statement" that will pave the way for a more accessible global communications network.

- standards groups combine forces for the good of industry

11 August 2003 Geneva, Lightwave Europe -- Over 30 of the world's most important standards making organisations have agreed on a "mission statement" that will pave the way for a more accessible global communications network.

Delegates at the historic ITU 2003 Informal Forum Summit, held in San Francisco 24-25 July, agreed on the mission statement that aims to improve interoperability across the multiple communication technologies and industries they represent. Participating forums and Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) will collaborate in an effort to leverage economies to meet the needs of industry - and consumers - better.

The agreement outlines a roadmap for better coordination and lists areas of potential synergy among the various bodies. Broad aims of the delegates outlined in full in the outcome document include the need to drive the collective value of the forums and other standards development organizations by sharing best practices and increasing cooperation.

The ITU says that it's the first time that so many forum leaders have met and agreed on such a level of co-operation. Fifty-seven chiefs from 37 SDOs and forums representing all facets of Information and Communications Technologies attended the event hailed as being of benefit to industry at large.

This 2003 Informal Forum Summit is an initiative of the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (the secretariat for ITU-T), Houlin Zhao. "I am very pleased with the result of this meeting which shows very clearly the spirit of cooperation among forums and SDOs. It is important to come together like this to show that we are keen to avoid duplication of work and can make better use of our limited resources. The end result will be good for both industry and the consumer."

The Informal Forum Summit provides a place for the heads of standards makers to get together to discuss proposals for better collaboration. Following a fruitful first summit in 2001, the second summit proved an excellent meeting-ground for improving awareness of the activities of the various different forums and establishing common-ground as a basis for improved collaboration.

ITU is a world-wide organization which brings governments and industry together to coordinate the establishment and operation of global telecommunication networks and services; it is responsible for standardization, coordination and development of international telecommunications including radiocommunications, as well as the harmonization of national policies.

To fulfil its mission, ITU adopts international regulations and treaties governing all terrestrial and space uses of the frequency spectrum as well as the use of all satellite orbits which serve as a framework for national legislations; it develops standards to foster the interconnection of telecommunication systems on a worldwide scale regardless of the type of technology used; it also fosters the development of telecommunications in developing countries.

ITU also organizes worldwide and regional exhibitions and forums bringing together the most influential representatives of government and the telecommunications industry to exchange ideas, knowledge and technology for the benefit of the global community, and in particular the developing world.

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