Today, March 16, negotiations between the Minister of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus Konstantin Shulgan and Director of the Regional Office for the CIS Countries of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Natalia Mochu took place.
During the negotiations, the parties considered topical issues of developing interaction between the Republic of Belarus and the International Telecommunication Union, including taking into account the results of the working meeting of the Minister of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus with the Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Doreen Bogdan-Martin, held on March 1 of this year.
In particular, the prospects for further development of cooperation on the topic of “smart sustainable cities” were discussed. In this regard, the Director of the ITU Regional Office for the CIS countries noted that the Forum "Smart Sustainable Cities", held in the Republic of Belarus for the third time, is confidently acquiring the status of a flagship regional event, where the most pressing issues of building and developing "smart cities" are considered.
During the talks, it was noted that one example of constructive cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union in this area will be the pilot project “Smart School” which is being implemented in 2021 in the town of Polotsk and the purchase of equipment for the implementation of which will be financed by the International Telecommunication Union. In this regard, the Minister of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus emphasized that taking into account the results of implementation in the future, this pilot project can be considered as an integral element of a “smart sustainable city” for the subsequent scaling of the positive experience of implementation on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
The parties also discussed topical issues of developing interaction with the International Telecommunication Union in terms of the introduction of 5G technology. In this regard, the Minister of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus noted the great importance of the expert and technical support from the ITU on issues related to the introduction of this technology, including for its better perception by the population. Following the negotiations, it was agreed that an important step in this work will be made as a result of the ITU-practical training workshop on the implementation of 5G to be conducted from 1 to 4 June 2021 in the city of Minsk within the framework of the ICT forum “TIBO-2021”.
During the negotiations, the prospects for the development of interaction in the field of "digital skills" were also discussed. In this regard, the Director of the ITU Regional Office for the CIS Countries confirmed the readiness of the International Telecommunication Union to assist the Republic of Belarus in assessing digital competencies and skills for various categories and groups of the population, taking into account the Guidelines on Digital Skills developed by the ITU.
Based on the results of the discussion during the negotiations, the parties also declared their readiness to further deepen cooperation in the direction of ensuring the availability of information technologies. Given the positive experience created with the support of the ITU at the Educational Institution “Belarusian State Academy of Telecommunications” Educational Training Centres of persons with hearing impairment to modern information and communication technologies in the cities of Minsk and Vitebsk, it was decided to study the possibility of expanding cooperation in this area.
During the negotiations, the parties also discussed the issue of developing cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and ITU in the field of cybersecurity.