Global telecommunication and AI standards development for all

31 May 2024 18:00h - 18:20h

Table of contents

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Full session report

India to host landmark World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in 2024 with focus on ICT innovation and AI governance

The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA), a cornerstone event for the global telecommunications and ICT standardisation community, is set to take place in New Delhi, India, from 15th to 24th October 2024. This occasion is particularly noteworthy as it represents the first time the WTSA will be hosted in Asia, marking a significant moment for the region’s involvement in global ICT standardisation efforts.

Seizo Onoe, a prominent figure in the telecommunications field, took the opportunity to thank India for its hospitality and to highlight the critical role of the WTSA. He described the assembly as the guardian of the ITU standardisation platform, which is vital for ensuring the organisation is equipped to address new and emerging standardisation demands. Onoe also emphasised that the WTSA provides a key platform for ITU members to articulate and prioritise their standardisation objectives.

Niraj Verma, representing India, warmly invited delegates and dignitaries from around the world to participate in the WTSA 2024. He spoke of India’s rich cultural heritage and its dynamic digital economy, which has seen rapid growth and innovation. Verma’s invitation underscored India’s readiness to engage in meaningful discussions and to showcase its advancements in the digital domain.

A promotional video showcased India’s robust ICT sector, which boasts the world’s second-largest telecom market with over a billion subscribers and nearly a billion smartphone users. The video also highlighted India’s contributions to telecom standards, including the development of the 5Gi standard, and its active participation in the international standardisation community. The chosen venue, Pragati Maidan, was presented as an advanced convention centre, demonstrating India’s capability to host large-scale international events.

The event also touched on the philosophical concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which translates to “the whole world is one family.” This principle is deeply ingrained in India’s approach to using telecom and ICTs to foster an inclusive society and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Bilal Jamoussi, during his address, highlighted the governance challenges associated with AI, particularly the issue of deepfakes. He reported on the discussions that took place among ministers, regulators, and various stakeholders on AI governance, concluding that international standards are crucial for managing such challenges. Jamoussi also noted the commitment from various standards organisations, including ISO, IEC, and IEEE, to collaborate on AI standards. This commitment was solidified with a communiqué announcing a new collaboration on multimedia watermarking and authenticity standards, demonstrating the AI for Good platform’s commitment to tangible outcomes and progress in AI governance.

In conclusion, the event underscored the global community’s dedication to collaboration and standardisation in the telecommunications and ICT sectors. The upcoming WTSA 2024 in India is anticipated to be a pivotal event for setting the future direction of telecom standards and for addressing the governance of AI technologies through international cooperation and standardisation efforts.

Session transcript

And I think we’re at a really interesting moment in AI and having the chance to be responsible and do AI for good, and I say this as a generative AI artist. Very shortly we’re going to have some K-pop coming up and we have closing remarks from our very own Doreen Bogdan-Martin as well. And then we’re going to reset the stage for a few more bits and pieces. I think we’re nearly there. Yes? It’s a very busy stage for the last part of this event. And not surprised, really, because we did have quite a few people who want to come on and it’s a pleasure to invite everybody forward. Okay, well, let’s invite back the director of ITUT, Sezo Onohe-san, and the additional secretary of the Department of Telecom India, His Excellency, Mr. Niraj Verma, let’s invite them. Okay, thank you very much. Onohe-san, I would like to invite you for remarks first, please.

Seizo Onoe:
Thank you. Good evening, everyone. In October this year, we will meet in New Delhi at the Governance Conference for ITU Standardization Work, the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, WTSA. India is bringing WTSA in Asia for the very first time. It’s a momentum occasion and I thank India once again for your great hospitality. WTSA is our guardian of the ITU standardization platform. It ensures that we remain well-positioned to meet emerging standardization demands. It’s a key opportunity for ITU members to highlight their priorities for our work. India is world-renowned for the focus on the future and innovations for greater digital inclusion. This will be on show at AI for Good Impact India, the first event of our new Impact Series, as well as Indian Mobile Congress. Both will run alongside WTSA, creating an excellent opportunity for our global ITU community to meet with Indian innovators. To tell us more, it’s my great pleasure to welcome Sri Niraj Verma to share a few words with us. Thank you.

Niraj Verma:
Thank you. Good evening. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege and honor to stand before you today. We are here to announce the upcoming World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly or WTSA 2024, which will be hosted in our vibrant country, India, in October this year. India, with its rich heritage and a rapidly growing digital economy, beckons you all, esteemed dignitaries. I extend a warm welcome and invitation to you all present here and your country delegates to come to India to participate in meaningful dialogue and enjoy our hospitality. I express my gratitude to the ITU for providing this platform and extend our invitation. We thank you and we eagerly await your participation in the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly at New Delhi from 15 to 24 October 2024 and India Mobile Congress during the same time from 15 to 18 October 2024. Thank you.

Thank you both. Thank you so much and I think we have a video to watch now, so let’s watch the video.

Promotional video:
Information and communication technologies touch the lives of individuals and facilitate businesses and governance. India’s robust development in the ICT sector as the world’s second largest telecom market of 1.17 billion subscribers with 931 million smartphone users, an indigenous 4G and 5G stack, have helped in delivering state-of-the-art telecom services to its citizens. Countries come together under the umbrella of the International Telecommunication Union to decide on policies, regulations and standards for telecom and ICT. ITU helps in providing the universal and meaningful connectivity, bridging the digital divide and connecting the unconnected. Standards play a critical role in the development of telecom products and services. These standards are developed by member states and other ITU members. India has been a founding member of the ITU and has contributed to the development of telecom standards. India has a vibrant standardization ecosystem. Little wonder that India stands at an important position in international standardization organizations by virtue of its contribution for innovative, well-researched solutions and standards. India is proud to be instrumental in developing 5Gi standards of the ITU. India believes in the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, a Sanskrit adage meaning that the whole world is one family. This makes India a society and accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 using telecom and ICTs. In this speech to host the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2024, from the 15th to the 24th of October 2024, preceded by the Global Standards Symposium on the 14th of October 2024 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Delhi, from being the historic capital city, has evolved into a vibrant, cosmopolitan, modern city. Today Delhi is a beautiful kaleidoscope of modern society with rich heritage and culture. In the heart of the capital city, a sprawling 128 acres international exhibition centre called Pragati Maidan hosts a majestic modern convention centre, latest and largest in India, which is the venue for the forthcoming prestigious G20 summit. The convention centre is designed like an elevated podium, with five levels to make seating for 13,500 guests, best suited to host the coveted WTSA. This convention centre at Pragati Maidan has been selected to host the WTSA 2024. India and the ITU proudly invite the global community to assemble in New Delhi for the highly awaited WTSA 2024 to contribute towards the goal of a better connected, secure and sustainable world.

Wow, thank you very much. So thank you to India and the ITU as they leave the stage. What an incredible and extraordinary video and I wish you all the very best for October. Now I would like to invite Dr Bilal Jamusi to join us for a final panel on something I’m fascinated by which is watermarking because when I make art it’s really important to me to signify that something is a generative AI inclusive and I would like very much next to invite on stage a deputy to the director of ITUT who will be moderating a fascinating panel on watermarking. Please welcome Dr Bilal Jamusi. So fast, he’s already there. Off you go.

Bilel Jamoussi:
Thank you, thank you LJ and good afternoon everyone. I’d like to invite a list of colleagues for a big announcement that we’d like to make today. Alessandra Sala from Shutterstock, please join us. She chaired a wonderful workshop all day since 9am this morning. Sylvieu from the Deputy Secretary General of ISO. Gilles Tonnet, the Deputy Secretary General of IEC. Thomas Wiegand, Study Group 16. Andrew Jenks, Director of Media Provenance at Microsoft. Leonard, I’m not sure if Leonard is still with us from Adobe. John Greeter, Sam Gregory, Turaj, JPEG. Please join us, Professor at EPFL. Peter Eizert, Mr Kuhn, Mr Brown, Gupta, Li Wei from CAICT, Mr Wu, Mr Wang and our colleague from WIPO, Tobias, if you’re still around. I think we have everyone. Please come on both sides so we can make half of us on the left and half on the right. Alessandra, please stay next to me. There we go. Okay, very good. So, ladies and gentlemen, on Wednesday, during the AI Governance Day, 45 ministers, 25 regulators, 100 private sector UN partners, academia, civil society debated and discussed the AI governance. And certainly deepfakes of audio, video, text, speech was one of the issues that was discussed in terms of needing governance. And that topic cannot be governed without international standards. So, on the stage on Wednesday afternoon, we had the CEOs, the Secretary General of ISO, of IEC and the TSB Director. And as you remember, I moderated that session and the three executives committed to coordinating AI standards as the world standards cooperation. Yesterday, we had a two-hour roundtable on AI standards that was inclusive of other standards organizations like the IEEE. We also had UN partners like UNEP, UNIDO and others. We also had government representatives, Ambassador of the United States, our colleagues from China, the Ambassador from Switzerland, the private sector, Nokia, Ericsson, Google and other companies were Huawei in that panel. And we all agreed at the end of two hours that we will continue the journey of standards collaboration and coordination for all of the AI standards. So, we heard from the world standards cooperation. We heard through the roundtable that the session was very useful and we need to continue it. And today, we had a deep dive on the first topic that we need to tackle, which is deepfakes. And all of the colleagues around me shared what they are doing individually in their organizations, the companies and the speakers. We had 21 speakers. Some of them had to fly out, but those who are still here are around. And we all shared the difficulties, the problems, the existing solutions, what’s missing. And one of the elements of what was missing is a collaboration on deepfake standards, on watermarking and multimedia authenticity. So, we are very pleased that at the end of the day, we issued a communiqué. If you scan the QR code on the screen, you will find the communiqué already posted on the world standards cooperation website. And this is an indication of the agility of the standards community to address what the policymakers and the regulators need. So, we had the discussion on Wednesday. We are declaring and communicating on a new collaboration on multimedia watermarking and authenticity. And also, this is to show that the AI for Good platform has been all-inclusive and is really working on concrete deliverables and announcements at the end of the work that we had this week. Thank you very much. And I would like a big round of applause for my colleagues who made this happen. Thank you. We’re going to take a quick photo to commemorate this moment.


Bilel Jamoussi

Speech speed

133 words per minute

Speech length

658 words

Speech time

297 secs



Speech speed

138 words per minute

Speech length

321 words

Speech time

140 secs


Niraj Verma

Speech speed

102 words per minute

Speech length

161 words

Speech time

95 secs


Promotional video

Speech speed

128 words per minute

Speech length

426 words

Speech time

200 secs


Seizo Onoe

Speech speed

108 words per minute

Speech length

187 words

Speech time

104 secs