UN communications forum makes progress on radio services and applications

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré attends final day of World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12). Photo: ITU

17 February 2012 – A United Nations forum focused on ensuring universal access to radio services worldwide concluded in Geneva today with one senior UN official celebrating the gathering for making the world “a better place to live in.”

Organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12) examined the technical, regulatory and operational aspects involved in the allocation and sharing of radio frequency in various services such as maritime and aeronautical transport and meteorology and disaster prediction.

“WRC-12 has helped define new and better ways to regulate radio services and applications, and represents a major contribution in making the world a better place for all,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré.

Mr. Touré commended the gathered delegates for their focus on Earth observation radiocommunication applications – technology which is crucial for monitoring and combating climate change and for disaster prediction.

Radio is the most prevalent mass medium with an ability to reach 95 per cent of the world’s population at a low cost, including many remote communities and marginalized groups. It has also proven to be highly resilient as its scope and distribution platforms have grown with the development of new technologies.

With weather, climate and water-related calamities composing more than 90 per cent of the world’s natural disasters, radio frequencies are also increasingly essential components of multi-hazard early warning systems.

“New applications for radio waves are being continuously developed, which means that more and more has to be squeezed into the available radio spectrum,” said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

“The WRC-12 decisions will help ensure that the signals we need to observe the Earth are not drowned by new signals,” he added, noting that the outcome of the conference would provide new opportunities for observation systems needed to monitor, understand and predict the changing climate.

Over 3,000 participants from 165 countries attended the four-week conference in Geneva. In addition to the representatives of ITU member States, some 100 observers from among the agency’s 700 private sector members along with international organizations were in attendance.


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