29
Nov

ITU Resolution 136 (2018) on ‘The use of telecommunications/information and communication technologies for humanitarian assistance and for monitoring and management in emergency and disaster situations, including health-related emergencies, for early warning, prevention, mitigation and relief’

Resolution 34 (Rev. Buenos Aires, 2017)As is well known, the ITU plays a central role in using information and communications technology services (ICTS) for disaster risk reduction and management, through measures such as the design of national emergency telecommunication plans, the setting up of early warning and monitoring systems or the provision of emergency telecommunications equipment in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

Part of its work on emergency telecommunications and disaster relief consists in the development of Resolutions, technical Standards and Recommendations to assist Member States in the use of telecommunication services and systems for disaster risk reduction, disaster management and humanitarian response.

Once every four years the ITU holds its plenipotentiary meeting, the most recent of which took place in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) between 29 October and 16 November 2018. Amongst the many decisions, resolutions and regulations adopted at the Dubai meeting, was Resolution 136 (Rev. Dubai, 2018) on ‘The use of telecommunications/information and communication technologies for humanitarian assistance and for monitoring and management in emergency and disaster situations, including health-related emergencies, for early warning, prevention, mitigation and relief’.

The Resolution builds upon previous Resolutions by the ITU, the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) and the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC)
concerning disaster prevention and management (Resolution 34 Rev. Buenos Aires, 2017 of the WTDC) climate change (See Resolution 66 Rev. Buenos Aires, 2017 of the WTDC) and cooperation among telecommunication regulators (See Resolution 48 Rev. Buenos Aires, 2017 of WTDC).

The document seeks to revise existing instruments, bringing them up-todate with the most recent developments in the area of disaster prevention and management. For instance – in line with the recent stronger emphasis on disaster preparedness – it recognizes the important role played by
telecommunications/ICTS in establishing early warning mechanisms. Mindful for the need for closer cooperation in disaster management, it invites the Union’s Secretary-General to collaborate with OCHA, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the World Food Programme, and with other relevant organizations ‘to enhance the Union’s participation in activities related
to emergency communications’.