The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) headed the UAE delegation at the 17thArab Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministerial Council meeting which took place in Algeria on Monday September 30th, 2013. The UAE delegation was comprised of senior TRA officials including HE Majid Al Mesmar, Deputy Director General of TRA and Engineer Nasser Bin Hammad, Director of International Affairs, TRA. Dr. Zahra Dardouri,Minister of Post, Information Technologies and Communication in Algeria, chaired the meetingwhich was attended by twelve countries as well as representatives from each state of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab Regional Office of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Arab Organization of Communication in Tunis.
The meeting’s schedule includeda range of regionally important topics, all of which have been submitted by the Arab Permanent Committee for Postal Affairs during held prior to the Ministerial Committee meeting.Ministers agreed on numerous measures regarding the adoption of a new structure of working groupsto ensureconsistency in operations. Meeting attendees also discussed the 3rd Arab Stamp Exhibition held in September in Saudi Arabia with the participation of a number of UAE postalinstitutions including Emirates Post Group. During the meeting the Post Regional Development Plan (2013-2016) was approved by the ministers present.
The Ministerial Council agreed upon a numberof critical ICT projects including the Regional Internet ArabicNetworks Linkage Project where the members stressed the need for participation, urging the private sector to join in the effort and work closely with the operational team responsible for driving the project.
The Ministerial Council also recommended preparatory measures for each of the upcoming international ICT conferencestaking place next year, namely the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference and the World Telecommunication Development Conferences. Members present agreed to nominate the United Arab Emirates for a number of positions in bothconferences, such as theVice-Chairman of the Consultative Group for the Development Sector and the Vice-Chairman of the second committee at the next the World Telecommunication Development Conference. Ministerial Council members also nominated the UAE for membership of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the membership of the Radio Regulations Council in the next elections held during Plenipotentiary Conference in South Korea.
Regional initiatives for the Arab region was a focus point of the meeting, where members instructed both UAE and Egypt representatives to develop an initial perception of the most important initiatives and the most important priorities of interest to the Arab region , which could be adopted at the next conference in Sharm el- Sheikh . The council has approved the UAE`s proposal for identifying a mechanism to nominees for leadership positions in the elections of international telecommunications conferences, after the amendment to the substance of this mechanism , which in turn recommended the circulation to the Permanent Arab Committee for Post to be studied and applied. Arab domains project is the other topic was addressed. The Council also took note of the current phase of the project of the MOU between the Commission and the Arab League in this regard, the Council stressed on the importance of finalizing the project quickly to move forward towards the administration and operation of this domain name for the benefit of the Arab region .
Commenting on the meeting, HE Majid Al Mesmar, Deputy Director General of (TRA), said: “Exchanging information, expertise and understanding is important, for the Arab region to move forward. Our continuous cooperation has resulted in establishing successful Arab teams who come together to discuss a wide range of important issues related to the ICT sector that are of great interest to all Arab countries. These meetings aim to promote multi-lateral coordination between ICT sectors in the Arab world thereby improving the links between these sectors and enhancing the level of services provided to users in every Arab state
Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim ,TRA Director General was pleased with the outcome of the ministerial meeting and adoption of the proposals of the United Arab Emirates submitted to the Council as well as to the meeting of the Permanent Arab Committee for Telecommunications, Post, both preceded the meeting of the Council, particularly its adoption of all Arab countries nominations for leadership positions in the elections scheduled for next year, includingnominations for membership of the Council of the International Telecommunications Union, which the Authority is participating in for the third year in a row and the nomination of Engineer Nasser bin Hammad for membership of the radio Regulations.