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Asia-Pacific leaders gather in Perth to discuss global spectrum and satellite regulations

Over five days, more than 350 delegates from over 25 countries across the Asia-Pacific will discuss regional views on proposals to change global spectrum and satellite regulations, according to a press release by the Australian Department of Communications and the Arts.

These Asia-Pacific leaders are gathering in Perth as the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) Preparatory Group for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) and will discuss spectrum and satellite issues.

The event is the third of five meetings of the group and allows participating nations to reach strong consensus in the lead up to next year’s WRC-19.

The Australian Government hosted the meeting, represented by the Department of Communications and the Arts in partnership with the Australian Communications and Media Authority. 

The Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts, Mike Mrdak AO, delivered the inaugural address.

“The Australian Government is proud to be hosting the third meeting of the APT. We are honoured that Australia has again been trusted with such an important event in the Asia-Pacific radiocommunications calendar,” Secretary Mike Mrdak AO said.

The meeting marks the third time Australia has hosted the APT Preparatory Group for WRC, which is an important forum to ensure the Asia-Pacific is well represented in global radiocommunications forums.

Since 1996, the APT Conference Preparatory Group for WRC (APG) aims to harmonise views and develop common proposals from the Asia-Pacific region for the WRC. It organises coordinated regional activities in order to ensure that the interests of its members on radiocommunication issues are properly represented.

The activities include but are not limited to: develop APT Common Proposals (ACPs) for WRCs and on matters related to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radiocommunication Assemblies (RAs); develop APT contributions to ITU-R Conference Preparatory Meetings (CPMs); and assist APT Member countries, especially developing countries, in their preparations for WRCs, RAs and CPMs.

WRCs are held every three to four years, to review and/or revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and the geostationary-satellite and non-geostationary-satellite orbits. Revisions are made on the basis of an agenda determined by the ITU Council, which takes into account recommendations made by previous world radiocommunication conferences.

It was also announced yesterday that Australia will stand for re-election to the ITU Council later this year. The announcement was made jointly by the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs the Hon Julie Bishop MP and Minister for Communications Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield.

As a specialised agency of the United Nations, the ITU makes important decisions on the global communications networks by bringing together governments and industry to ensure efficient and affordable global telecommunication networks and services.

Since 1959, Australia has been an active member of the Council and play a pivotal role in the ITU’s support for communications in the region, especially in addressing cyber security challenges.

According to the press release, Australia will continue to support the ITU’s efforts to promote open, accessible and inclusive global communications.

“As a Council member we promote a collaborative approach to the ITU’s activities and work to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. This supports Australia’s vital commercial and strategic interest in reliable, affordable and seamlessly interconnected global communications,” the joint press release writes.

The Departments of Communications and the Arts, Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Communications and Media Authority will work together to campaign for Australia’s re-election.

Feature image: Richard Bartz/ CC BY-SA 2.5

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