Arab telecom ministers' meeting concludes with strategic decisions

Arab Telecommunications Union to be formed
.Arab domain, Arab states, Arab telecom ministers' meeting, Arab Telecommunications Union, Arab world, Sustainable Development Goals


The 20th session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Communication and Information concluded in Abu Dhabi yesterday, under the chairmanship of UAE Minister of State, H.E. Rashid Bin Fahad. It was attended by telecommunication ministries delegates from 16 Arab countries. 

H.E. Rashid Bin Fahad said: “Arab nations need to find the depth of its strength and resources to transform those resources as development generators. One of the most notable resources noted in the meeting can be seen in the ICT sector, which can provide the channel to communicate the dreams of many citizens in the Arab World, positively working together with new technologies - from being consumers to become producers of knowledge and science.”

“This meeting brings more hope to promote the sustainable development agenda, which is a common goal for all of humanity, including the Arab nations, especially after the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 have been adopted-- composed of 17 proposed goals and targets covering various sectors,” he added.

The meeting issued a set of decisions and recommendations including the acknowledgement of the UAE’s proposal to establish the ‘Arab Telecommunications Union,’ which aims to unify the efforts of Arab countries in the sector.

With regard to the UAE registration of the .Arab domain name, the Council has instructed the UAE and the General Secretariat to pursue the plan and submit the application requirements before the end of the first quarter of 2017, including the notification to ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

The ministerial council also noted the importance of following the respective domains of various Arab countries and ensure that the .Arab domain name would not be utilised negatively. It urged the need for vigilance and constant communication with the responsible entities like ICANN to avoid providing any name that negatively affect Arab nations.

The Council meeting also approved for the UAE to head the Arab committee responsible for the preparations for the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2017 which will take place in Argentina.

As Arab countries have been invited to actively participate and provide technical contributions in the meeting of the study committees for radio communications in the ITU, the Arab Spectrum Management Group has also called for the Arab countries to involve radio communication devices producers and operators to become part of the delegation that could review technical notes and opinions, suggestions and recommendations. It also sought the Arab countries to open new services and study the feasibility for new bandwidths to keep pace with growth in ICT while considering the importance of national security. It also urged Arab countries to support the participation of international organisations and companies in conferences related to the Arab Spectrum Management Group.

The meeting recognised the importance of supporting the Egyptian nomination for the vice-presidency post at the study committee for standardisation within the ITU. The election will be held during the upcoming International Conference for Standardisation in Tunisia in November 2016.

The conference concluded with the submission of various Arab initiatives to the conference. The Council has directed the review of the initiatives achieved by the group, which will be submitted during the next international conference for telecommunications.

The Arab ministers also agreed to establish a regional transport network and continue commissioning Lebanon to prepare the required studies and coordinate with the Arab departments for this project particularly with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to formulate the initial framework for the communication network. It noted the importance of encouraging the ministries and related departments in Egypt, KSA and UAE to seek telecom operators’ full collaboration to implement the regional connecting project for Arab internet networks.



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