New Resolution to clean up e-waste

Committee 4 has agreed a new Resolution on e-waste, charging ITU to strengthen its activities in this arena and to assist ITU Member States in instituting policy frameworks that limit e-waste’s negative environmental effects.

The Resolution arrives against a backdrop of a rapidly progressing ICT industry, increasing consumption of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and a marked increase in e-waste, which, as a result of global mismanagement, has led to negative environmental and health effects, particularly in developing countries.

Pending final WTSA-12 Plenary approval, “The role of telecommunications/ICT in handling and controlling e-waste from telecommunications/ICT equipment and methods of treating it” instructs the Director of TSB, Malcolm Johnson, to collaborate with Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, to advance ITU’s on-going activities in this regard, to assist developing countries in their assessment of e-waste challenges, and to lead global efforts combatting and raising awareness around e-waste’s adverse effects.

The Resolution calls on ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and Climate Change) to document and develop best-practice models of handling, controlling, treating and recycling e-waste, and to reflect the resulting findings in international standards (ITU-T Recommendations). SG 5 is in addition instructed to study the e-waste impacts resulting from developed countries’ exports of used telecommunications/ICT equipment to developing nations.

More on ITU-T and climate change here…


e-health: Committee 4 approves new Resolution

e-health, the use of ICTs in healthcare, has been a strong feature of this Assembly. The extensive discussion in GSS and a dedicated side event complement the Committee 4 agreement on a new Resolution on e-health.

Pending final WTSA-12 Plenary approval, Information and communication technology applications and standards for improved access to e-health services instructs the Director of TSB, Malcolm Johnson, to collaborate with Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, to prioritize and coordinate work on e-health in the years to come.

The Resolution will act as the catalyst for the initiation of new work in various ITU-T Study Groups, in particular SG16 (multimedia), SG11 (protocols) and SG17 (security), as well as increased interaction with WHO and other organizations addressing ICT healthcare standards. ITU-T’s Focus Group on the machine-to-machine service layer (FG M2M) was established in January 2012 and initially addresses healthcare services enabled by M2M, e.g., remote patient monitoring and ambient assisted living.

Security standards for e-health communications, services, databases, records handling, identification and authentication were among the priorities identified at Tuesday’s e-health side event and are reflected in the proposed Resolution.

ITU’s Technology Watch report on e-health standards and interoperability by Dr Laura DeNardis (American University, Washington, DC) gives an insight into some of the latest trends in e-health and explains how standards facilitate the adoption of related services.

Work in Committees gets underway

Mohammed Gheyath, WTSA-12 Chairman

Mohammed Gheyath, WTSA-12 Chairman

WTSA-12’s opening session under the Chairmanship of Mohammed Gheyath (Executive Director, Policies & Programs/Information & E-Government Sector, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, UAE) saw the approval of committees’ structure and leadership.

Work was assigned to five Committees:

1)      Steering Committee (ensures the smooth execution of the work of the Assembly);

2)      Budget Control (examines the total expenditure of the Assembly and estimates the budgetary requirements of ITU-T up to the next WTSA (2016));

3)      Working methods of ITU-T;

4)      ITU-T work programme and organization; and

5)      Editorial Committee (enhances the clarity of wording used in texts arising from WTSA deliberations, such as resolutions, without altering their sense and substance).

The complete terms of reference of all Committees are reproduced in Document DT/4-E (requires a TIES account).

Delegates have started reviewing the inputs and proposals submitted by ITU’s membership in the respective committees and will report the results of these discussions to Plenary at a later stage.