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1 The importance of the problem and the current situation
2 Possible solution
3 Action required and anticipated results
In Resolution 25 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010) the Plenipotentiary Conference resolved that, within the scarce existing resources of the Union, the regional presence should be further strengthened, and instructed the Director of BDT in close consultation with the Secretary-General and the Directors of the Radiocommunication Bureau and the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau to take the necessary measures for further strengthening of the regional presence.
In addition, in accordance with the annex to Resolution 25 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010), one of the elements to be taken into account in assessing the regional presence was how further decentralization could ensure greater efficiency at lower cost, taking into consideration accountability and transparency.
According to Decision 5 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010) concerning income and expenditure for the Union for the period 2012-2015, the Plenipotentiary Conference instructed the Secretary-General, with the assistance of the Coordination Committee, to draw up and implement a programme of appropriate revenue increases across all ITU operations.
In the light of the projected 12 per cent reduction in total contributions from Sector Members for the period 2012-2015 (Annex 1 to Decision 5) by comparison with the 2008-2011 period, it may be concluded that steps must be taken to attract new Sector Members.
As at April 2012, total Sector membership is 318 organizations, of which 239 represent the private or state sector (including research institutions and universities). A number of developing countries have only one or two Sector Members and some have none at all.
This state of affairs can in part be explained by the general economic situation, but the main reason now as before is the fact that the private sector is ill informed about the advantages of ITU Sector membership.
The existing network of four ITU Regional Offices and eight Area Offices has limited resources and lacks the powers needed to resolve this problem on its own. Involving these Offices more actively in this issue could also lead to increased expenditure on missions in connection with seminars, meetings, discussions, and so forth.
It is therefore essential to seek ways of tackling the problem of the reduction in total contributions from Sector Members without increasing the number of ITU Regional and/or Area Offices and without drawing on additional funding.
One possible solution would be a mechanism for appointing “authorized ITU country representatives” from among existing Members of the Development Sector. The basic principles for this would be as follows:
1) The status of “authorized ITU representative” for a given country would be granted only to one of the current Members of the Development Sector working in the country concerned.
2) To obtain that status, a Development Sector Member, following consultations with the national administration concerned, would submit a written application to the ITU Regional (Area) Office of the region to which the State in question belongs.
3) The ITU Regional or Area Office would then consider the application and, in the light of available information on the organization’s activities as a Development Sector Member, its financial discipline (whether its contributions have been paid on time), and its potential in terms of expertise and organization, would make a recommendation to the Director of BDT as to whether or not to grant the organization the special status of authorized ITU country representative.
4) The Director of BDT, in the light of the representations from the ITU Regional (Area) Office, would grant the applicant the status of authorized ITU country representative and issue a certificate to that effect.
5) Granting an organization this status would give it the right to:
– on behalf of ITU, encourage organizations and enterprises in that country to become Sector Members;
– translate into national languages any invitations and related material in connection with events held in the country by the ITU Sectors, and subsequently disseminate those documents by posting them on its own electronic media and by other means;
– hold seminars, round table discussions, exhibitions and other such events with a view to attracting new Sector Members;
– conduct talks with organizations and enterprises in the country on becoming Sector Members;
– coordinate the work of Sector Members in the country concerned in order to improve the effectiveness of collaboration with ITU.
6) An authorized ITU country representative will operate on a voluntary basis, without funding from the ITU, and in coordination with the relevant Regional or Area Office.
7) In the event that at the end of a financial year the number of Sector Members in a given country has grown by at least three compared to the beginning of that year, the organization authorized to represent the ITU will be exempted from payment of membership dues as a Member of the Development Sector for the following year while retaining its status.
8) That exemption will continue for subsequent periods provided that there continue to be at least three more Sector Members in the country (at the end of the current financial year) than there were at the time authorized representative status was granted.
9) Two Sector Members that have the status of academic institutions under the terms of Resolution 169 (Guadalajara, 2010) will be deemed to be equivalent to one normal Sector Member in counting the number of Sector Members required to meet the above conditions (§§ 7 and 8 above).
The main advantages of establishing the status of authorized ITU representative are as follows:
– the possibility of maintaining direct contacts through personal meetings with representatives of enterprises and organizations in a given country, without incurring additional expenditure on missions;
– command of national languages and the opportunity to adapt the key advantages of ITU Sector membership to prevailing national conditions;
– increasing the revenue component of the ITU budget without incurring additional expenditure (exemption from dues applies only in the event that new Sector Members join);
– improved financial stability for the ITU at a time of global economic crisis;
– improved public information in the developing countries on the work and role of ITU in today’s world.
In order to adopt a mechanism for appointing such authorized ITU country representatives, this contribution should be referred to the ITU Council and to the Secretary-General so that appropriate steps may be taken.
Establishing the category of authorized ITU representative will make it possible even before the end of 2015 to increase total revenue from Sector Members by between 8 and 10 per cent (as new Members join) to something close to the 2008-2011 level.
Contact point: Name/Organization/Entity: Vadim Kaptur
Phone number: +38 48 705 0460
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