October 6th, 2015

“CTO to strengthen coordination role for ICTs in Commonwealth”, says Secretary-General Shola Taylor

LONDON, 05 OCTOBER 2015 – Following his meeting in Geneva today with Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Shola Taylor has pledged to ensure the Organisation plays a greater role in coordinating the views of all Commonwealth member countries at international meetings, especially at treaty meetings convened by the ITU.

Today’s meeting between the two organisations was the first of a series of meetings planned by Mr Taylor with international organisations since assuming office on 17th September 2015.

Coordinating the views of Commonwealth countries and agreeing on common objectives in advance of key international ICT decision-making meetings is an area where the CTO can do a lot more. Deliberations at conferences convened by the ITU, such as the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), the World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly (WTSA), the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC), or the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) can be made more effective with prior consultations among Commonwealth countries.”

Meeting with Secretary-General Zhao was an opportunity to share first-hand with the ITU my vision for the CTO. And we are starting immediately, with a Commonwealth pre-WRC-15 meeting to take place in London on 7 – 9 October 2015, and which will be honoured by the presence of Festus Daudu, Chair-designate of WRC-15,” Secretary-General Taylor explained.

Welcoming Mr Taylor’s commitment to supporting global consensus efforts on ICTs, Secretary-General Zhao said he looked forward to both organisations working even more closely in the future. “The CTO has been a very engaged and active partner of ITU for many years, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to further strengthen this bond. The Commonwealth is an important and very diverse global group of countries, and we welcome the opportunity of ITU helping its members realise their connectivity goals in collaboration with the CTO and the Commonwealth Secretariat, as will be reported to the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in just a few weeks. Our relationship with the CTO will be a cornerstone of those efforts,” he said.

Secretary General Shola Taylor of CTO (left) with Secretary General Houlin Zhao of ITU (right)
Secretary General Shola Taylor of CTO (left) with Secretary General Houlin Zhao of ITU (right)

The two secretaries-general also discussed ongoing initiatives by the two organisations and agreed to collaborate more closely, including on regional initiatives.

In addition to holding preparatory meetings, the CTO plans to maintain its role in international fora, such as with the recent 2015 WSIS Forum held in May during which the CTO formally called for a sustainable development goal for universally accessed and universally used ICTs.

For more information about CTO’s plans, contact Marcel Belingue at communications@cto.int or +44 20 8600 3816.

About the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation is the oldest and largest Commonwealth membership organisation in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and uses its experience and expertise to support members in using ICTs to deliver effective development interventions that enrich, empower, equalise and emancipate people within the Commonwealth and beyond. More information about us here

About the International Telecommunication Union

ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies, driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 700 private sector entities and academic institutions. Established in 1865, ITU celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2015 as the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, improving communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishing the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to cutting-edge wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. See www.itu.int.