The 54th Council Meeting and Annual Forum of Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) will be held in Dhaka on 8-12 September this year. Bangladesh is hosting the high profile event for the first time. Ministers, decision makers and high officials of Telecommunications and ICT from Commonwealth countries will take part in the event. Regulators, private sector companies and operators consisting of 250-300 delegations are expected to participate in those two events. Inaugural function and all others technical sessions would be held at Radisson Blu Water Garden hotel. This was informed at a Press Conference jointly participated by high officials of CTO, MoPT and BTRC at Bangladesh Telecommunication regulatory Commission (BTRC) conference room this afternoon. Director of Operations & Corporate Secretary of CTO Mr. Lasantha De Alwis, Director General (Systems & Sevices) Brig. General Golam Mowla Bhuiyan and Director (Media & IT) Md. Sarwar Alam of BTRC spoke and took part in the questions & answer session. While Director General Mr. Avijit Chowdhury of BTRC, International Events Manager of CTO Mr. Robert Hayman and Deputy Secretary of Posts and Telecommunication and IT Ministry Mr. Sheikh Riaz Ahmed, amongst others, attended the media conference.
A two member advanced delegation of the CTO is now visiting Dhaka to see for themselves the progress of the preparation. The team members are Mr. Lasantha De Alwis, Director of Operations & Corporate Secretary and Mr. Robert Hayman International Events Manager of CTO. They had already have separate meetings with representatives of Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB), Mobile Imports Association of Bangladesh (MIAB), Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Ltd (BTCL), Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), Telecom Infrastructure Organization of Bangladesh (TIOB), Internet Service Providers Association Bangladesh (ISPAB), Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Service (BASIS), Bangladesh Association of Call Center & Outsourcing (BACCO), Cyber café Owners Association of Bangladesh (CCOAB), Bangladesh Computer Society (BCS), Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN), Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) and International Terresterial Cable (ITC) and other stakeholders on various issues & matters relating to ICT & Telecom. The CTO team also had threadbare discussion meetings with the Bangladesh counterpart, particularly the organizing committee and sub-committee. They paid a courtesy call to acting Chairman of BTRC.
It may be mentioned that the CTO, based in London, UK is an international organization of 53 member commonwealth countries working to promote telecom and ICT related cooperation, It is the oldest and largest Commonwealth organization engaged in multilateral collaboration in the filed of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), and uses its experience and expertise to support its members in integrating ICTs deliver effective development interventions that enrich, empower and emancipate people within the Commonwealth and beyond.
Its mission is to promote, facilitate and guide members in using ICTs to deliver effective development intervention. The vision of the CTO is to be the preferred partner for governments, the private sector and civil society in delivering effective ICTs for development (ICT4D) in the Commonwealth and beyond.
The CTO seeks to work collaboratively with other Commonwealth bodies and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to build mutually beneficial synergies in the interest of its members, It also offers a strategic channel for member to influence the shaping of the global ICT agenda, advocate and reach consensus on policy and regulatory positions, form alliance and build relationships, It also provides private sector members with greater access to policy makers and raise awareness and promote priorities of current and future ICT4D initiatives.
The present strategy plan emphasizes six main areas, namely, broadband, especially mobile broadband for rural development including food security, Cyber security & Cybercrime, ICTs for people with disabilities, regulatory environments, including convergence and digital broadcasting switchover, the use of ICTs in education and youth and ICTs,
The CTO is governed by its Council, which consists of representative from all member countries. It is the highest policy making body of the CTO, It meets annually to examine the progress of the Organization and to suggest future programs.
The Forum is the platform for sector members to examine issues critically important to them. The CTO Forum is the premier ICT conference of the Commonwealth. Held immediately preceding to CTO Council meeting, this event draws high level participation from ICT ministries, regulators and operators from across the Commonwealth. The 2014 Forum will focus on key aspects of ICT access and utilization, including infrastructure, connectivity, applications value added services, data and security. The theme for this year is ‘ICTs for Development form Access to Inclusive and Innovative Services.