Elaborating the ITU strategic plan for 2020-2023: An invitation to be part of an open, transparent and inclusive process

12 Jun 2017 13:15h - 14:00h

Event report

[Read more session reports from WSIS Forum 2017]

Mr Catalin Marinescu (Head, Corporate Strategy Division, ITU) started the session by introducing the panellists. The session presented the ITU’s open, transparent, and inclusive process of elaboration of the new Strategic Plan for 2020-2023. This is a continuation of the ITU’s strategic plan 2016-2019. A Council Working Group was established in May 2017 to draft the plan to be presented to the ITU Council in April 2018. 

Mr Vaggelis Igglesis (Strategy and Policy Officer, Corporate Strategy Division, ITU) presented an overview of the current ITU vision and mission incorporated in the ITU strategic plan 2016-2019. Adopted in Busan 2014, the strategic plan promotes four main goals: growth (to enable and foster the access to and increase the use of ICT); inclusiveness (bridge the digital divide and provide access to all); sustainability (manage challenges resulting from ICT development), and innovations & partnerships (lead, improve and adapt to the changing ICT environment). The strategy was developed in ‘one ITU vision’ (vision and mission endorsed by all member states), and all of the sectors working towards the same goals. In his words, all sectors have their own set of outcomes to produce in order to achieve the objectives. The current strategy plan and its adoption, have made improvements in strengthening the result-based approach, have strengthened the concept of ‘working as one ITU’, and made improvements in the allocation of resources to objectives and goals. Igglesis added that this process has helped the ITU improve its transparency and reporting, as all indicators are publicly available and member states can access the results.

Marinescu went on to explain the process of designing the future strategy: the Council Working Group on the strategic and financial plan first met during the council 2017 meeting. This working group will coordinate the elaboration of the draft strategic plan. The Council Working Group will have four meetings. The second meeting will take place in September 2017, the third in January 2018, and the fourth in April 2018 before the Council. The group will also take into consideration the input from the ‘Conference on Development’ set to take place in October 2017. During this process there will be three open public consultations. The first is currently taking place (until 7 July) and is regarding the general objectives, the second one will be open in November and will include opinions regarding the framework of the strategy. The third one will take place in March 2018, and will include the strategic plan for public consultation. The stage of elaboration of the strategic plan is to be presented at a different fora. The ITU’s Plenipotentiary 2018 is in charge of approving the strategic plan 2020-2023.

Mr Fernando Rivera (Coordinator, Corporate Strategic Planning, Corporate Strategy Division, ITU) introduced the public consultation that is running right now. He emphasised the ITU’s multistakeholder approach in drafting the agenda, and the importance of working in an open, transparent, and inclusive way. Rivera added that when developing the new strategic plan, the ITU should take in account the ‘2030 Agenda’, technological trends (such as the Internet of Things, 5G, big data and artificial intelligence) and the future role of the digital economy. Access to open consultations is available at the ITU webpage.

The questions of this public consultation are:

  • What should be the key strategic priorities for the  ITU for the 2020-2023 period, taking into account the UN 2030 Agenda?
  • What are the key technological trends the ITU should consider while planning its strategy?
  • What do you consider to be the top three challenges for the ITU and the top three achievements you would like to see the ITU accomplish in the 2020-2023 timeframe?

Answering a question from the audience, Marinescu added that the financial plan will match the strategic objectives as was demanded by the member states for the last action plan.

In conclusion Marinescu underlined that all continents are represented in a management team of the Council Working Group. Opinions can be posted directly on the website and comments from others can be read.


by Arvin Kamberi