Emerging Trends | ICT4SDG | ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018
October 23, 2018

Meet the Candidates: Chaesub Lee for Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau

ITU’s Member States will soon elect the Union’s top executives at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 (PP-18) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. ITU News is highlighting written interviews (Q&As) with the candidates for each of ITU’s top posts. Below is the Q&A for Chaesub Lee, candidate for Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

How should ITU evolve to maintain relevance in today’s world?

Better use of information and communication technology (ICT) devices and their services within a connected environment is becoming an essential requirement for living in today’s information society.

ITU, as a United Nations specialized agency having responsibility for telecommunication/ICT development should continue to help people get better connectivity, and to help more and more people to live a better quality of life.

Helping to provide better connectivity to people should be continued with improving quality of connectivity such as ultra‑high speed and better quality broadband, including fixed‑mobile converged features, in more efficient and cost‑effective ways.

“Better use of information and communication technology devices and their services within a connected environment is becoming an essential requirement for living in today’s information society.”

ITU should also play an important role to ensure our daily connected lives are improved, that they are secure and trustworthy, not only in the physical space, but also in cyber and social spaces.

Finally, ITU should continue efforts to help ensure that more people are receiving the benefits of telecommunications/ICTs by collaborating with public and private communities as well as with developed and developing nations.

What are your top three priorities and how do you plan to achieve them?

Telecommunications/ICTs are organized and operated by products (devices and systems) and their services which are strongly influenced by technology innovations and their standards. This is the essential role of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB). Better standards lead to better products and services, and this is why enhancing the quality of ITU standards should be TSB’s first priority.

The second priority for TSB should be to improve standard development processes by making them more efficient and effective taking into account “user needs” and “time to market.” The last, but not least, priority is to build holistic platforms, such as: keeping reliability with the continuing evolution of ICT infrastructure, adopting emerging technologies; better solutions for ICT products and services enhancing smartness; and building trustworthy relationships, in a daily connected life.

Achieving these, I am sure would be an essential step to strengthen the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector’s (ITU–T’s) member engagement in standards development processes. Investigating the adoption of emerging technology and inviting new expert groups as ITU–T members should be carried out to improve the telecommunication/ICT environment, as well as stimulating innovation in the sector. ITU also needs to improve collaboration with the relevant standards development organizations.

What do you see as ITU’s unique role in accelerating progress on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals?

Accelerating progress of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires the involvement of many areas and perspectives. To refer to just one of them, “technology innovation, in particular ICTs” should be a strong influence in achieving the UN SDGs with better, efficient, effective and economic solutions.

“ITU should continue efforts to help ensure that more people are receiving the benefits of telecommunications/ICTs by collaborating with public and private communities as well as with developed and developing nations.”

For example, by extending and improving connectivity, ITU will help accelerate financial inclusion; the adoption of AI (Artificial Intelligence) will improve health, education, and foster environmental protection. ITU, as the UN agency dealing with ICTs and their innovation, provides a collaboration platform for various UN sister organizations, as well as the private sector.

What has been your most important leadership achievement?

During my first term as the Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, I have received great support from our members resulting from many valuable standards that we created under my management.

The ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU–T) expert groups, such as Study Groups and Focus Groups, developed more than 600 Recommendations and 50 Technical Reports, in the scope of optical transport including G.fast, 5G fixed networks, multimedia codecs, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)/electromagnetic fields (EMF) including e‑waste, the Internet of Things (IoT)/smart cities, quality of service (QoS)/quality of experience (QoE), smart cable TVs, counterfeit, numbering, global roaming/over the top (OTT) applications, digital financial services, and so on.

“Better standards lead to better products and services, and this is why enhancing the quality of ITU standards should be TSB’s first priority.”

To facilitate and accelerate standards development and identify emerging technology, collaboration with relevant standards development organizations and forums have been largely expanded and deepened, including the transpose of technical documents into ITU–T Recommendations (i.e. the oneM2M specifications and Continua Health Alliance system).

In addition, new initiatives are being launched to provide “a gathering platform”. For example, “Smart ABC” provides a cross‑sectoral debate among three different communities from AI, banking and cities, while ITU’s “ICT Discoveries” journal provides a platform for collective knowledge from academia communities as well as research and development institutes.

How have you built consensus amongst diverse stakeholders?

One of the essential core elements of standards should be technical reasoning, and the most fundamental element for building consensus should be based on a common understanding of the technology among various stakeholders.

“Providing a dialogue platform among stakeholders is the fundamental basis for agreement and helps the stakeholders to focus and identify gaps between different understandings to reach consensus.”

And they should all have influence and identify necessary requirements, including architectures. Therefore, providing a dialogue platform among stakeholders is the fundamental basis for agreement and helps the stakeholders to focus and identify gaps between different understandings to reach consensus.

Chaesub Lee is currently the Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. Learn more about Mr. Lee and the other candidates for ITU’s top posts on the Candidates page of the PP-18 website.
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Meet the Candidates: Chaesub Lee for Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau

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