*The following article is adapted from my opening remarks today at the 27th Meeting of the Radiocommunication Advisory Group (RAG). The RAG reviews the priorities and strategies adopted in the Sector; provides guidance for the work of the Study Groups, and recommend measures to foster cooperation and coordination with other organizations and with the other ITU Sectors.
Dear colleagues and friends,
Good morning, afternoon or evening to everyone. It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 27th meeting of the Radiocommunication Advisory Group (RAG).
I would like to begin by congratulating you all for the success of the 2019 Radiocommunication Assembly (RA) and World Radiocommunication Conference. You dealt with some very important issues on the agenda, and together we overcame the challenges of holding such a big meeting outside Geneva. The outcome was very rewarding. Every day I count my blessings that the coronavirus was kind enough to await the conclusion of our very important conferences before it struck.
Since this is the first RAG meeting after the RA, allow me to congratulate also our newly elected Chairman of the Radiocommunication Advisory Group, Mr. Daniel Obam, and all the distinguished Vice-Chairmen.
I remind you we are starting a new study cycle of ITU-R Study Group activities and global preparation for WRC-23. Your contribution will be key in providing guidance to me and to the Bureau, and support for the work of the study groups – especially during these peculiar times.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I share with you the progress of the work of the Radiocommunications Bureau. Mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BR has rolled out teleworking and we are committed to continue delivering on our mandate.
At the end of March, the BR published the Final Acts and we are working hard to implement all WRC-19 decisions and publish the 2020 version of the Radio Regulations later this year. Another function of the BR that has continued normally is the timely processing of terrestrial and satellite network fillings.
In addition, fully remote participation, which we have been referring to as “virtual” meetings, have been held successfully.
In March we held the first ever virtual RRB meeting, and more recently, Study Group 7 and its working parties met virtually. This is the first time a RAG meeting is held in this same manner.
The BR is committed to ensuring that the facilities you had at the ITU premises are also replicated to the greatest extent practicable, in virtual meetings. But shaping existing platforms to our needs and including interpretation in six languages, as necessary, is not an easy task. So, please bear with us. I count on your patience and understanding while we adapt to this new environment – it is a learning process.
I see we have an extensive agenda for this meeting.
This meeting of the RAG will consider the results of the RA-19 and WRC-19, and the consequential actions that the RAG was called upon to undertake.
Towards this end, several contributions address the maximum term of office for the chairman of working parties and the need for training newly elected vice-chairman so that they are duly acquainted with the working methods of the Study Groups.
Moreover, the RAG was invited to discuss approval procedures when a text is relevant to the topics of multiple study groups.
The RAG has also received some contributions regarding further development of IT tools, for satellite-related correspondence, for satellite examination and publication processes, and for data analytics and business intelligence.
In addition to the report submitted by the secretariat, the RAG has received contributions from Member States, addressing issues such as: the WRC-23 preparation, Inter-sectoral coordination, and the four-year rolling Operational Plan.
As you can see, the days to come will be filled with important topics to be discussed. I value the advice of the RAG on all these topics and consider it as an essential input to ensure that our membership’s requirements are satisfied.
In closing, let me wish you a very successful meeting.