“An historic demonstration of growing commitment and support for the importance of ICT to the social and economic development of Caribbean people”. This is how Secretary-General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), Rodney Taylor, is describing the participation of 13 CTU Member States at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 (PP-22), currently being held in Bucharest, Romania.
SG Taylor explained that the ITU conference, held every four years, is where the highest policy-making body sets its agenda, adopts its four-year strategic and financial plans; elects the Member States to sit on its Council, and Radio Regulations Board, as well as those who will serve on its senior management team.
Stressing that the CTU thought it critical to get its Member States registered for PP-22, Mr. Taylor said “strong representation by the Caribbean region at such high-level international conferences is crucial to ensuring Caribbean influence in the key areas of global development; in this case for ICT, all of which would affect the over 19 million citizens of the CTU Member States”.
He added that PP-22, taking place from September 24 to October 14, is of great significance to the CTU, as for the first time, there is a Caribbean national – Stephen Bereaux of The Bahamas – vying for the position of Director of the ITU Telecommunications Development Bureau (BDT). The BDT is a critical arm of the ITU, which deals mainly with development policies, strategies, programming, and technical cooperation activities to close the digital divide.
“If elected, Mr. Bereaux, who has roots in Trinidad and Tobago, would be the first Caribbean national, and first person from a small island developing state, to hold a directorship in the ITU”, said SG Taylor.
Mr. Bereaux is a seasoned ICT regulator, having worked at the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, and as CEO of the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) in The Bahamas. He is currently Deputy Director of the BDT, and as such, SG Taylor said he is confident that Mr. Bereaux will continue to demonstrate in his work at the ITU, an understanding of the Caribbean perspective and its ICT development needs.
Also, during the Plenipotentiary Conference, two CTU Member States – Cuba and The Bahamas will be seeking to extend their tenure as members of the ITU Council for the Americas region. The Secretary-General stated that it was, therefore, “critical that the CTU and the region worked diligently to ensure that all 13 eligible Member States were ready and registered for PP-22, to vote and let the Caribbean’s position be noted”.
The 13 eligible Member States represented are Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago. Other Member States are British and Dutch overseas territories, which will be represented by the United Kingdom and Holland, respectively.
Heads of delegation attending include seven ICT Ministers: Hon. Davidson Ishmael (Barbados); Hon. Michel Chebat (Belize); Hon. Wilfredo González Vidal (Cuba); Senator, the Hon. Oscar George (Dominica); Hon. Warren McCoy (Guyana); Hon. Konris Maynard (St. Kitts and Nevis); Hon. Michael Halkitis (The Bahamas); and Senator, the Hon. Hassel Bacchus (Trinidad and Tobago).
Follow Stephen Bereaux’s campaign via this link.