“Bridging the Standardization Gap,” is the theme for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) 2019. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) says international standards enable digital transformation on a global scale.
Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Hon. Stuart Johnson, extends congratulations to all telecommunication-sector workers throughout the country on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), which will be internationally observed on Friday, May 17.
The ITU states that societies are entering an era of massive digital transformation. “ITU international standards aim to ensure that the benefits of this digital transformation are realized on a global scale.
“As industries and technologies converge and new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and 5G emerge, we see increasing need for common technical standards," said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General. “I applaud the many thousands of experts who contribute to ITU standards work, day in, day out. These men and women are at the heart of today's digital transformation."
“According to the ITU, more than half of the global population is online. For country Sint Maarten, we need to continue to improve our telecommunication and information technology sectors in order to keep pace with global trends and developments.
“Emerging technologies such as 5G will play a transforming role as the global digital economy continues to grow. We have to make sure that we are at the forefront where local broadband development is concerned or suffer the consequence of being left behind.
“Once again, congratulations to all the workers in the telecommunication and information communication technology sector on your day on May 17,” Hon. Minister Stuart Johnson said on Thursday.
“International standards provide the technical foundations of global markets. They create efficiencies enjoyed by all market players, efficiencies and economies of scale that ultimately result in lower costs to producers and lower prices to consumers.
“ITU standards are rarely perceived by users but vital in enabling the interconnection and interoperability of the digital solutions delivered by hundreds of thousands of companies around the world. The development and approval of ITU standards by consensus among private and public entities helps to ensure the buy-in of all stakeholders, increasing the likelihood that these standards will be implemented worldwide.
“ITU offers all stakeholders equal opportunity to access, shape, implement and benefit from ITU international standards. The inclusivity of the ITU standardization platform is supported by ITU's Bridging the Standardization Gap (BSG) programme. This programme assists developing countries in increasing their capacity to participate in the development and implementation of international standards. Advising on national and regional standardization structures, and empowering experts to improve their expertise in standards development, the BSG programme plays a key role in ensuring that ITU standards meet the needs of all of the world's regions.
“International standards are making an important contribution to the pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), from smart energy, intelligent transport, smart agriculture, e-health, digital financial inclusion to smart cities.
“A few examples of ITU standards in action: Digital health: ITU and WHO (World Health Organization) have launched an international standard and associated toolkit to prevent music players from causing 'sound-induced hearing loss', the world's leading cause of preventable hearing loss. ITU and WHO are also working in collaboration to ensure that artificial intelligence fulfils its potential to strengthen health services and systems for universal health coverage.
“Digital financial inclusion: financial services via mobile phones and other technologies show great potential to give people with no traditional bank account the ability to save, make payments and access credit and insurance. Governments can ensure that social security payments reach their intended recipients, and help merchants accepting digital payments to gain access to lines of credit. ITU mobile communication and next-generation authentication standards enable trusted digital financial services.
“Smart cities and communities: more than 50 cities worldwide are using 'key performance indicators for smart sustainable cities' based on ITU standards. Smart cities rely on technologies such as 5G and the Internet of Things to enhance energy efficiency and waste management, improve housing and health care, optimize traffic flow and safety, detect air quality, alert police of crimes occurring on the streets and improve water and sanitation systems.”
May 17th marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 and the creation of the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
PHOTO CUTLINE: Hon. Minister Stuart Johnson