Qatar Wins Bid to Host the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in 2026 | Ministry of Communications and Information Technology

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Qatar Wins Bid to Host the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in 2026

Bucharest - Romanian

The State of Qatar won the bid to host the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union ITU (PP-26) in 2026. The Member States voted unanimously earlier yesterday on the sidelines of the ITU (PP-22), which is currently being held in Bucharest.

Qatar submitted an official request to host the conference during its participation in the Plenipotentiary Conference and was represented by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA).

Qatar's delegation to the conference is headed by HE Mohammed bin Ali Al Mannai, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, and included senior officials in the Ministry and the CRA.

The ITU PP Conference is considered the supreme policy-making body in the Union and meets once every four years to set out the strategic and financial plans for the following four years, including to elect the organization's senior management team, the Member States of the Council, and the members of the Radio Regulations Board.

Speaking about the vote, HE Mohammed bin Ali Al Mannai noted that the Plenipotentiary Conference is considered the highest policy-making body within the ITU, where member states can set out the plans for the following four years covering communication, inclusion, and digital aspects.

He noted that over the past several years, Qatar has built an advanced information and communication technology infrastructure aligned with the highest international standards, making Qatar one of the world's leading players in the digital industry.

He stressed that Qatar's distinguished efforts to promote a better future for humanity are well known, and that Qatar's international efforts have always been a force for good. Through the Qatar Fund for Development, the State of Qatar has always been keen to deliver its aid across seven continents. Among the aid provided is the donation of $10 million in 2022 to the World Health Organization to support sourcing equipment to test and treat Covid-19 and develop a vaccine, in addition to its contribution of $20 million to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.

Qatar's tireless work in the service of all humanity also includes evacuating Afghan refugees to settle safely in host countries, educating more than 20 million children around the world, and supporting women through the "Women in Conflict Zones" initiative launched by the Qatar Fund for Development this past September.

The State of Qatar has always been keen to extend a helping hand to developing countries. In this context, Qatar provided government assistance amounting to $9.7 million to the Republic of South Sudan between 2010 and 2020, including a shipment of urgent medical aid to support their efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Qatar does not hesitate to assist those affected by natural disasters around the world and recently launched an air bridge to support those affected by the floods in Pakistan. Based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, an urgent relief aid plane was sent loaded with 23 tons of medicines, medical materials, and other necessities.

His Excellency noted that the leadership's decision to make early investments in clean energy and natural gas technology has paid off and made Qatar one of the leading countries in the global natural gas industry. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be one of the most sustainable tournaments in history and will support ITU’s green policies. He added that the tournament will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but will also inspire Arab youth across the MENA region who will witness the tournament being held in an Arab country for the first time in history.

His Excellency stressed that Qatar has a proven track record of success in organizing and hosting major events, including global and regional conferences, noting: "our investments in the digital sports, gamification and financial technology sectors will open new horizons for entrepreneurs and will attract international investment for start-ups. Qatar will host major sporting events after the World Cup, including the Asian Games in 2030, which is an indication that our journey is ongoing and that our efforts in tourism in the MENA region will only multiply”.

He added: “We are confident that Qatar will be an excellent host to the ITU PP and all the delegations of Member States. It will be an honor and pleasure to host you in Doha for three weeks and share with you our culture, heritage, hospitality, and exceptional landmarks”.

He affirmed the commitment to work with the Member States and the newly elected ITU Council over the next four years to make the Union stronger and to make the world a better place for the 2.7 billion people still disconnected as 2030 approaches – the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking about the vote, Sabin Sarmas, Chairman of ITU PP, said: “My heartfelt congratulations go to the Government of Qatar on the well-deserved success of hosting ITU PP-26. I am confident that this achievement will strongly contribute to connecting those who are still unconnected, thus, fulfilling the Union’s biggest goal. Your country can count on our full support in organizing this upcoming Plenipotentiary, and I am open to sharing my experience and insights with the future Chairperson, just as I was fortunate enough to receive valuable information from the previous Chairs”.

During their participation in this year’s ITU PP, MCIT and CRA presented Qatar’s plans for digital transformation and its reliance on modern technology across multiple sectors, and shed light on the new digital technologies that will be used during the FIFA World Cup 2022.

The ITU PP grants participating states the power to put in place international treaties, and is the largest international global meeting of policy makers in the Information and Communications Technology sector. This conference is held to determine the strategic direction of the ITU and to develop policies and recommendations that address the evolving needs of its members.