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ITU Adopts Resolution Calling for Work on E-Waste

30 November 2012: The membership of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has called on ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) to undertake further action on electronic waste (e-waste) resulting from telecommunications and information technology (IT) equipment.

Resolution 79 on "The role of telecommunications/information and communication technologies in handling and controlling e-waste from telecommunication and information technology equipment and methods of treating it" was adopted by ITU's World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA), held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 20-29 November 2012.

The Resolution instructed the ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, in collaboration with the Telecommunication Development Bureau, to strengthen ITU activities on the issue, including assistance to developing countries in assessing the size of their e-waste problem, contributions to global efforts to address hazards arising from e-wastes, and the organization of seminars and workshops to enhance awareness of the hazards of e-wastes and methods of treating it and gauge the needs for developing countries.

The Resolution further instructs ITU-T Study Group 5 to develop and document best practice in handling and controlling e-waste from telecommunications and IT and methods of treating and recycling it, and to develop Recommendations, methodologies and publications relating to handling and controlling e-waste from telecommunications/IT equipment and methods of treating it. Study Group 5 was also asked to study the impact of used telecommunications/IT equipment and products brought into developing countries and provide appropriate guidance.

ITU-T, a permanent organ of ITU, is responsible for studying technical, operating and tariff questions and issuing Recommendations on them with a view to standardizing telecommunications on a global basis. The WTSA, which meets every four years, sets the topics for study by ITU-T study groups, which in turn issue Recommendations on those topics. [ITU Press Release] [WTSA Resolution 79]