Canadian National Organization Manual for the International Telecommunication Union – Telecommunication Standardization Sector

July 2018

Issue 2

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The ITU-T
  3. The Canadian National Organization for the ITU-T
  4. Steering Committee
  5. National Study Groups
  6. Contributions
  7. Secretariat
  8. Canadian Delegations and delegations
  9. Hosting
  10. Glossary

1. Introduction

This manual defines the organizational elements of the Canadian National Organization for the International Telecommunication Union – Telecommunication Standardization Sector (CNO/ITU-T), the structure of the organizational elements, the responsibilities of the organizational elements, and participation in the organizational elements, in particular the Steering Committee, the National Study Groups and the Secretariat.

As referred to in this manual, the Canadian Delegation to ITU-T meetings comprises those attendees registered under the auspices of the Canadian Administration, if any. By contrast, the Canadian delegation comprises all the members of the Canadian Delegation, if any, plus those attendees authorized to register under the auspices of Canadian ITU-T Sector Members, Associates and Academia, if any. Canadian ITU-T Sector Members, Associates and Academia are referred to collectively as Canadian private sector members in this manual.

The intended audience of this manual is both those who are already involved in the CNO/ITU-T process and newcomers.

This manual is approved by the Canadian Administration, which is Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).


2. The ITU-T

2.1 Duties

The duties of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) are limited to the study of Questions and the issuance of Recommendations on technical, operating and tariff matters relating to telecommunication services. The ITU-T does not address technical or operating questions relating specifically to radiocommunication or development; such activities come within the purview of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector or the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector.

2.2 Membership and participation

The ITU recognizes Members and Participants.

Members include:

  1. the Administrations of all Member States if the ITU
  2. Sector Members as set out in Convention CV 229-231

Paricipants include:

  1. Associates of specific study groups as set out in the Convention Resolution CV 241 A-E
  2. Academia as set out in Plenipotentiary Conference Resolution 169 (Busan, PP 14)

Members of the ITU-T, along with international organizations and regional telecommunication organizations that coordinate their work with ITU activities, are invited to participate in meetings of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA). The conditions for invitation and admission to the WTSA are specified in Article 25 of the ITU Convention.

2.3 Organization

The ITU-T conducts its work in accordance with the rules of procedure published in ITU-T WTSA Resolution No. 1 and the ITU-T A-series Recommendations.

The WTSA, which meets approximately every four years, establishes the topics for study by the ITU-T study groups, which, in turn, produce Recommendations on these topics. Specifically, the WTSA is responsible for:

  1. defining the ITU-T’s operating structure
  2. establishing the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) and appointing its Chair and Vice-Chairs
  3. establishing study groups and appointing Chairs and Vice-Chairs
  4. assigning areas of responsibility
  5. assigning Questions to study groups
  6. establishing regional groups to deal with Questions and studies of particular interest to a group of countries and Administrations in an ITU region

The Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) is elected by the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference.

The ITU-T’s areas of responsibility are divided as follows:

  1. Study groups are responsible for developing Recommendations in response to Questions. A study group may act as a parent to a focus group or a joint coordination activity.
  2. Focus groups are responsible for helping advance the work of ITU-T study groups and encourage the participation of members of other standards organizations, including experts and individuals who may not be members of the ITU. Focus groups’ outputs feed into the study groups, which may process the outputs into Recommendations.
  3. Joint coordination activities (JCAs) are tools for managing the work program of the ITU-T when there is a need to address a broad subject covering the area of competence of more than one study group. The primary role of a JCA is to coordinate planned work efforts in terms of subject matter, time-frames for meetings and publication goals. The work itself continues to be conducted by the relevant study groups and the results are subject to the normal approval process within each study group. A JCA may identify technical and strategic issues within the scope of its coordination role, but will not perform technical studies nor write Recommendations.
  4. Regional groups are responsible for dealing with Questions and studies of particular interest to a group of countries and Administrations in an ITU region.

2.4 Working methods and procedures

The terms of reference, working arrangements and general provisions regarding the ITU-T are set out in the ITU’s basic texts: the Constitution of the International Telecommunication Union and the Convention of the International Telecommunication Union. These are supplemented by rules of procedure and instructions published in the form of ITU-T Resolutions.

2.5 Texts, work program and contributions

ITU-T texts take the form of Questions and Recommendations.

A Question is a description of an area of work to be studied, normally leading to the production of one or more new or revised Recommendations.

A Recommendation is one of the following:

  1. an answer to a Question
  2. a text developed by the TSAG related to the organization of the ITU-T’s work

The ITU-T work program is defined by the Questions proposed for study (or for further study) by the study groups and approved by the WTSA. The complete list of Questions and their assigned study groups is published in the ITU-T’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly Proceedings. The full texts of the Questions are published by study group in Contribution No. 1 of each study group at the start of each study period.

New and revised ITU-T Recommendations that have policy or regulatory implications can be approved between WTSA meetings, as per the rules of Resolution No. 1, or at a WTSA. This approval process is called the Traditional Approval Process (TAP) and is explained in section 9 of Resolution No. 1.

New and revised ITU-T Recommendations that do not have policy or regulatory implications are to be approved using the Alternative Approval Process (AAP) as per the rules contained in Recommendation ITU-T A.8.

ITU-T contributions are the input documents submitted by Members and participating organizations relating to the studies being made by the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB). The procedures related to the submission and processing of contributions are given in Recommendation ITU-T A.1, clauses 3.1 and 3.2. The procedures related to the presentation of contributions to the ITU-T are included in Recommendation ITU-T A.2.


3. The Canadian National Organization for the ITU-T

The Canadian National Organization for the ITU-T (CNO/ITU-T) was established in 1973. The objective of the CNO/ITU-T is to promote and coordinate Canadian participation in the activities and study program of the ITU-T so that Canadians express an effective and coherent viewpoint in the ITU-T. Consequently, the CNO/ITU-T shall consolidate, promote and protect the interests of the Canadian government, Canadian telecommunications carriers, users and manufacturers, and other Canadian organizations concerned with the work of the ITU-T. This objective will require thorough examination of Canadian interests, determination of Canadian positions on ITU-T matters, and the co-ordination of the preparation of Canadian contributions to ITU-T study groups.

Canadian contributions will be encouraged, and procedures will be developed and maintained to ensure that Canada’s telecommunications interests are advanced internationally. Significant Canadian experimental results, new designs, operating arrangements and experience, tariff principles and technical planning will be presented in the appropriate ITU-T study groups.

The CNO/ITU-T includes the following organizational elements:

  1. the Steering Committee
  2. a system of National Study Groups (NSGs) that mirrors the ITU-T study group structure within the same technical terms of reference and that manages Canadian participation in the work of the study groups
  3. the Secretariat, which supports the work of the Steering Committee and NSGs

4. Steering Committee

4.1 Structure

The Steering Committee comprises:

  1. a Chair, who is appointed by and from the Canadian Administration
  2. participating Canadian private sector members who are paid upFootnote 1
  3. the Canadian Administration (ISED)

Guests, such as NSG chairs and ITU-T office holders, may be invited by the Steering Committee Chair.

The Steering Committee is supported by the Secretariat, which is provided by the Canadian Administration.

4.2 Responsibilities

The Steering Committee shall carry out the following responsibilities:

  1. Reach decisions on the basis of consensus, i.e. general agreement and the lack of sustained opposition from Steering Committee Members who have a substantive material interest.
  2. Recommend to the Canadian Administration the nominations of representatives of Canadian Sector Members to the positions of international TSAG Chair, TSAG Vice-Chair, Study Group Chair, Study Group Vice-Chair, Working Party Chair and Working Party Vice-Chair. (The Canadian Administration may directly nominate a Canadian administration leadership candidate to the ITU-T.)
  3. Meet at least once a year. The frequency of Steering Committee meetings may increase to at least three or four times per year, e.g. during the WTSA period approaching the end of a Study Period.
  4. Advise the NSG Chairs of the activities and decisions of the Steering Committee, ideally through direct correspondence with the NSGs and meetings with the NSG Chairs, as required.
  5. Require a written progress report (one to three pages) once a year, at a date to be determined by the Steering Committee Chair, from NSG Chairs.
  6. Review and resolve all grievances submitted by NSG Members and/or NSG Chairs arising from the work of the NSGs.
  7. Inform the NSG Chairs of the results of relevant ITU meetings as well as meetings chaired by the Canadian Administration.
  8. Establish an NSG for each current ITU-T study group as required, and provide general policy guidelines and oversee the work of the NSGs.
  9. Appoint the Chairs of the NSGs at the beginning of each study period and as needed during the study period. The procedures for the replacement of NSG Chairs are as follows:
    1. Any NSG Chair who cannot continue in their role shall inform the Secretariat in writing. The Secretariat shall then inform the Steering Committee Chair who will then propose to the Steering Committee one or more possible candidate(s) to assume the vacant position. Candidates would be proposed in consultation with the retiring Chair or through any other suitable means.
    2. The Steering Committee Chair shall seek the approval of the Steering Committee for the proposed candidate and, if the Committee approves, shall so advise the incoming NSG Chair and the Secretariat. The Secretariat shall then inform all other concerned parties.
  10. Recommend revisions to the manual as necessary.

Members and guests of the Steering Committee shall at all times avoid including material of a classified nature in reports, Recommendations, proposals and other documentation or correspondence. No such material shall under any circumstances be released for foreign circulation. The primary responsibility to protect classified material shall rest with the person or persons who originate correspondence or documentation.


5. National Study Groups

5.1 Structure

NSGs comprise:

  1. a Chair
  2. NSG Members (see section 5.3)
  3. a Secretariat

5.2 Responsibilities

Each NSG shall carry out the following responsibilities:

  1. Develop its own work program within the same technical terms of reference as the corresponding ITU-T Study Group and encourage the preparation of contributions.
  2. Review, recommend, and approve or disapprove contributions prepared and submitted by NSG Members, as per section 6.
  3. Establish a collaborative team to work with the appropriate Standards Council of Canada (SCC) Mirror Committee on the development and advancement of international standards whenever they relate to the ITU-T and activitiesFootnote 2 of any of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and/or Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1).
  4. React, if necessary, to contributions received from other NSGs by having the contributions reviewed and commented upon, and responding to the originating NSG Chair in a timely fashion.
  5. Establish by consensus Canadian positions on certain foreign contributions, as appropriate, for the use of the Canadian delegation at ITU-T meetings. If the NSG cannot reach consensus, particularly if the Canadian position involves a draft Recommendation, the situation shall be referred to the Steering Committee for its consideration and resolution. If the Steering Committee cannot reach consensus, then the only Canadian position that can be taken is one of abstention. Such a position should be avoided if at all possible and should be endorsed by the Steering Committee in exceptional cases only.
  6. Review other relevant ITU-T documents and recommend related actions to be taken by the Canadian Administration. When necessary, the NSG shall establish by consensus its position on matters that concern the corresponding ITU-T study group, such as the final approval of ITU-T Recommendations by letter ballot and the approval of new or revised Questions.

5.3 Membership

Members of an NSG shall be any of the following:

  1. representatives of the Canadian Administration
  2. representatives of other federal government departments concerned with ITU-T work
  3. representatives of Canadian ITU-T Sector Members
  4. representatives of Canadian ITU-T Associates
  5. representatives of Canadian ITU-T Academia
  6. individuals in the telecommunications field who have been invited by the Canadian Administration or who have applied and been accepted by the Canadian Administration

Individual NSG membership shall not be unreasonably withheld. The Canadian Administration may revoke individual NSG membership. By way of example and not limitation, it shall not be deemed unreasonable to withhold or revoke an individual NSG membership on the basis of the individual’s past or present behaviour if it is considered to be detrimental to NSGs or delegations. When it is deemed necessary, participation may be constrained by a number of conditions specified by the Canadian Administration, including but not limited to the following:

  1. restricting the individual’s attendance to a specific set of ITU-T meetings, e.g. to study group or working party meetings only
  2. restricting the individual from speaking on behalf of the Canadian Administration at meetings
  3. granting temporary conditional electronic access, e.g. in renewable six-month increments
  4. restricting the submission of contributions
  5. other conditions, as deemed appropriate by the Canadian Administration

While Canadian citizenship or residency is not mandatory for NSG membership, particularly in light of the multinational corporate representation for many Canadian private sector members, issues of a policy and/or regulatory nature with Canadian national implications may make it necessary to exclude foreign nationals or Canadians residing abroad. Exclusion becomes more likely in cases where the NSG is developing Canadian proposals and positions for international meetings. (Confidentiality provisions involving materials and proceedings in NSGs and delegations are further described in section 6.3.) Cases of exclusion are to be reviewed and decided by the Chair of the Steering Committee, in consultation with the Chairs of the affected NSGs and others as necessary and appropriate.

Consultants shall clearly indicate to the Canadian Administration who is funding their participation in CNO/ITU-T activities and shall ensure full compliance with the terms and conditions of the Lobbying Act. Consultants funded from outside Canada shall not divulge to their funders the nature of discussions leading up to the adoption of Canadian positions.

5.4 NSG member responsibilities

NSG Members shall carry out the following responsibilities:

  1. Ensure familiarity with the procedures in this manual and abide by them. Familiarity with Resolution 1 and the A-series Recommendations is encouraged.
  2. Actively contribute to the work of the NSG by presenting their organization’s position in contributions to the NSG; providing constructive criticism on contributions drafted by other NSG Members; providing opinions on foreign contributions; and by providing opinions on other elements of the NSG’s agenda, such as new or revised Recommendations and Questions. Consensus on a single Canadian position must be achieved by the NSG before a new or revised Question may be submitted to the ITU-T, since the introduction of a new or revised Question influences the scope of the work of the ITU sectors, and may have a significant impact on telecommunications matters in Canada.
  3. Ensure that contributions are submitted to the appropriate NSG meetings with sufficient lead time to permit effective review of documentation by other Members. (See section 6.1.)
  4. Indicate to the NSG Chair their intention to attend any ITU-T meeting of the relevant Study Group in time for the Chair to meet the obligations of section 5.5, item (g).
  5. Raise with the Steering Committee via the Secretariat cases where the approval of a Canadian contribution by an NSG aggrieves the NSG Member, i.e. where the Member disagrees with the contribution or the process followed to approve it.
  6. In the case of Canadian private sector member authors, upload their approved contributions, marking them “Source: Canadian private sector member” and copying the Secretariat and the NSG Chair.
  7. Avoid at all times including material of a classified nature in reports, Recommendations, proposals and other documentation or correspondence. No such material shall under any circumstances be released for foreign circulation. The primary responsibility to protect classified material shall rest with the person or persons who originate correspondence or documentation.

5.5 Chair responsibilities

Each NSG shall work under the guidance of its Chair, who will be responsible to the Steering Committee for the work of their NSG.

The NSG Chairs shall carry out the following responsibilities:

  1. Schedule NSG meetings, issue calling notices and agendas, chair the meetings of their NSG and issue minutes.
  2. Organize and ensure the efficient handling of their NSG’s work.
  3. Ensure that NSG Members have reasonable time to review and discuss new contributions before attempting to establish a consensus.
  4. Ensure that their NSG achieves consensus on all Canadian contributions to study group or working party meetings (see also section 6.1). Chairs may need to forward Canadian contributions recommended for approval by their NSG to other appropriate NSG Chairs in the telecommunication sector or equivalent groups in the radio sector to ensure that the contributions are compatible with the positions held by other NSGs.
  5. Ensure that a copy of each approved contribution marked “Source: CANADA” is submitted to the Secretariat in time for the ITU-T submission date.
  6. Appoint a deputy when they are unable to attend a specific NSG meeting to carry out their responsibilities. The Steering Committee Chair may appoint the deputy if the NSG Chair is unable to do so.
  7. Arrange the distribution of reports from the joint collaborative team meetings of SCC Mirror Committees and NSG Committees to NSG Members and the Secretariat.
  8. Arrange the preparation of reports of all international meetings of the corresponding study group and its working party meetings attended by NSG Members, and arrange the distribution of the reports to NSG Members and the Secretariat. Such reports may be incorporated in NSG meeting summary records. If not, separate reports shall be prepared. Meeting summary records and reports should be brief and include a concise summary of the principal points of discussion, decisions and action items. Long attachments should be avoided.
  9. Identify issues and contributions generated through NSG activities that have broad significance and bring them to the attention of the Steering Committee.
  10. Submit to the Steering Committee a brief annual progress report of one to three pages on NSG activities, as requested by the Steering Committee Chair.
  11. Advise the Secretariat in a timely manner of any resignations from their NSG, and recommend to the Canadian Administration any removals from their NSG that may become necessary.
  12. Advise the Secretariat at least three weeks before a study group or working party meeting of the NSG Members planning to attend the ITU-T meeting. If the Canadian Administration does not intend to send one or more representatives, the NSG may request Delegation status for one or more Canadian private sector members. In such cases, the NSG Chair will recommend to the Canadian Administration the name of a person to serve as Canadian Head of Delegation.
  13. Solicit appropriate membership in the NSG in consultation with the Secretariat.
  14. Ensure that their NSG Members and other attendees at related ITU-T meetings are familiar with the contents of this manual.
  15. Inform NSG Members of TSB Collective Letters and Circulars that are of specific interest to the study group.
  16. Distribute to their NSG requests for contribution reviews from other NSG Chairs, and respond as necessary.

6. Contributions

6.1 Study group and working party meetings

A Canadian contribution is any contribution that is designated as either “Source: CANADA” or “Source: Canadian private sector member.” Every Canadian contribution is submitted to an NSG. Every contribution goes through a process of review and comment with the goal of having NSG Members arrive at a consensus on the contribution. Consensus means that all NSG Members concur with the contribution and are prepared to see it submitted to the ITU-T; however, it does not imply that the contribution is a Canadian position supported by all NSG Members. In the process of achieving consensus, the contribution may be amended. In the case of amendments, the contribution passes through the review and comment process again. It follows this process until (1) consensus is reached, (2) consensus is not reached or (3) the contribution is withdrawn.

Members should not block other Members’ proposals, but rather seek to modify contributions in ways acceptable to all parties, e.g. by removing points of contention from the contribution so that it becomes neutral in these aspects.

To achieve consensus, it is necessary to allow a reasonable period of time, typically two weeks, for NSG Members to review the contribution and resolve areas of contention. Contributions submitted at the last moment may not be reviewed in time for submission to the desired ITU-T meeting.

During the NSG approval process of a contribution, any Member—including the originator of the contribution—may propose that the contribution be designated as “Source: CANADA.” The significance of this designation is that all members of the ITU-T can interpret the contribution as representing a Canadian position that is actively supported by all NSG Members, as opposed to simply concurred with. Approval for this designation indicates full agreement in Canada with no substantive objections by any NSG Members. If such approval cannot be obtained, then the option remains to approve the contribution with the “Source: Canadian private sector member” designation, which means that all NSG Members concur with the contribution and are prepared to see it be submitted to the ITU-T, but that the contribution is not a Canadian position supported by all NSG Members.

If the Canadian Administration prepares a contribution, it must be designated as “Source: CANADA.” Consensus among all NSG Members is not necessary for contributions authored by the Canadian Administration. “Source: CANADA” contributions typically deal with policy issues.

The NSG that initially receives the contribution (i.e. the responsible NSG) may send it to other NSGs that may be involved or affected by the proposals made in the contribution. Making the contribution available to other NSGs allows the responsible group to obtain feedback and make changes, as appropriate.

If other NSGs have an interest, they will review the contribution and comment on it, if appropriate, and return it to the responsible NSG to continue the approval process.

When it is not possible to reach consensus on a proposed contribution, the originating NSG Member may submit the contribution to the study group or working party meeting as “Source: Canadian private sector member.” Other Canadian NSG Members may also submit contributions to the same meeting under their own “Source: Canadian private sector member” giving alternative view(s) on the same subject. This procedure may not be used when the subject is one for which a national opinion is required, e.g. for a decision on a proposed Recommendation on regulatory or telecommunications policy issues.

A “Source: Canadian private sector member” contribution may be submitted jointly with a private sector member of a foreign delegation, subject to the review and approval by the relevant NSG Chair (and the Steering Committee, if necessary). If a Canadian private sector member wishes to lend support to a foreign contribution, that member may do so with a “Source: Canadian private sector member” contribution that cites the foreign contribution or reproduces parts of it, subject to the usual NSG concurrence. A “Source: CANADA” contribution may be sourced jointly with other member states in a multi-country contribution, at the discretion of the Canadian Administration.

In all ITU-T studies, agreement on a single Canadian position on a subject must be achieved by the time the final draft of the Recommendation has been formulated by the appropriate ITU-T body. This position may be “approve”, “do not approve” or “abstain”. Whichever the case, the Head of Delegation shall state the position agreed to as a result of the consultation called for under ITU-T WTSA Resolution No. 1.

6.2 Rapporteur group meetings

Canadian contributions to rapporteur group meetings should generally follow the same sourcing procedures as Canadian submissions to study group and working party meetings. A contribution being submitted to a rapporteur meeting should not be submitted to the study group at the same time. The response to the contribution at the rapporteur group meeting should be assessed and any comments for improving the contribution should be considered and implemented. If it is then deemed that this material would be beneficial as a contribution to the study group, a new contribution should be prepared, approved within an NSG, and submitted to the ITU-T.

Contributions to be submitted to rapporteur group meetings shall be provided to the relevant NSG Chair who will then distribute them to the Secretariat for information and to NSG Members for information and comment, as required. It is permissible for contributions to rapporteur group meetings to be jointly sourced by Canadian private sector members and non-Canadian private sector members.

This process is not an approval process. However, the approach allows NSG Members to identify areas where they may have concerns with proposed contributions and promotes discussion prior to the presentation of the contribution in the rapporteur group meetings. This approach is intended to reduce conflicts among NSG Members during the rapporteur group meeting, and it allows the original document to be modified, if the originating NSG Member so wishes. Moreover, this approach demonstrates that other NSG Members can initiate contributions that reflect divergent points of view. The final versions of contributions are to be submitted to the NSG Chair, who will share them with the Secretariat and NSG Members for information. The originating NSG Member is responsible for submitting the contribution to the rapporteur group meeting and the ITU-T TSB, as appropriate.

6.3 Confidentiality

6.3.1 Materials presented, circulated or developed within the CNO/ITU-T

Materials presented, circulated or developed within the CNO/ITU-T are not in the public domain and, therefore, dissemination should be limited to those who have a legitimate interest in such materials.

6.3.2 Materials and proceedings within NSGs and delegations

Documentation (including, without limitation, minutes and trip reports) presented, circulated or developed within an NSG or delegation shall be confidential and for private circulation only, even when documentation is not marked as such. NSG and delegation participants shall not disclose NSG or delegation proceedings provided, except in the cases that follow.

Once consensus has been reached, Canadian positions may be disclosed to foreign delegations with the disclosing NSG’s or Canadian delegation’s express authorization, normally given verbally. NSGs may distribute documents to other NSGs to seek their input. When distributing documents or information regarding NSG or delegation proceedings, NSG or delegation participants shall ensure that recipients are aware of the documents’ confidential nature and shall be responsible to the NSG or delegation for safeguarding the confidentiality of such documents or information. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this manual shall prohibit NSG or delegation participants from consulting with experts within their workplace or their organization’s affiliates.

Individual positions taken by NSG or delegation participants in developing a Canadian position (e.g. on an ITU-T activity, a Canadian contribution to an ITU-T official meeting or a consensus Canadian opinion on a foreign contribution to an ITU-T official meeting, or any other form of expression of a consensus opinion) shall not be attributed to the NSG or delegation participant outside of the NSG or delegation.

NSG and delegation participants shall not state or imply that a statement of their personal views on any matter relating to the subject matter of their work in the NSG or delegation is the view of the NSG or delegation.

The provisions do not apply to the contributions intended for submission to the rapporteur group.


7. Secretariat

The Secretariat shall carry out the following responsibilities:

  1. Assist the Steering Committee Chair, the other Members of the Steering Committee, and the NSG Chairs in the discharge of their responsibilities, and provide secretariat services to NSG Chairs and the Steering Committee Chair.
  2. Coordinate the distribution of relevant information published by the ITU-T, excluding contributions but including Collective Letters and TSB Circulars of general interest to the NSG. ITU-T Resolution 1 defines the procedure for approval of new and revised Recommendations. When the Canadian Administration receives this type of Circular, the Secretariat shall:
    1. Alert the Steering Committee Members and the relevant NSG Chair.
    2. Request comments and opinions from Members of the relevant NSG to verify their intended response.
    3. Prepare a coordinated reply to the Circular based on the comments and opinions received.
  3. Keep an up-to-date list of Members of each NSG and advise the Steering Committee Chair and the NSG Chair of changes.
  4. Prepare the summary record of each meeting of the Steering Committee, when required.
  5. Ensure that all “Source: CANADA” contributions are duly registered and uploaded for the appropriate meeting using the ITU Direct Document Posting online system, within the specific deadlines set out for each meeting, and include the NSG Chair and Head of Delegation (HoD) as recipients of the online system confirmation.
  6. Arrange for the expeditious transmission of a list of Canadian contributions to the TSB.
  7. Provide the composition of the Canadian delegation to the Canadian Administration Designated Focal Point (DFP), who will validate electronic registrations and formally inform the ITU-T Secretariat (TSB) of who are the Head of Delegation, if any; the deputy Head of Delegation, if any; the representatives of the Canadian Administration; and the representatives of Canadian private sector members accredited to attend study group and working party meetings.
  8. Maintain a list of contributions submitted to the ITU-T meetings, including approved “Source: CANADA” and “Source: private sector member” contributions.
  9. Maintain an up-to-date record of all documents issued by the TSB (ITU-T), including Circulars and Collective Letters.
  10. Inform Steering Committee Members and NSG Chairs of vote results, particularly as they relate to the final approval of Recommendations as per ITU-T Resolution No.1.
  11. Observe the operation of the CNO/ITU-T and propose appropriate improvements.
  12. Maintain the accuracy of hyperlinks in the manual.
  13. On matters that require Administrations to reply to the ITU-T, determine the position within the CNO/ITU-T and reference that position as an input for the reply by the Canadian Administration. Such replies are required, for example, for final approval by letter ballot of ITU-T Recommendations and/or new Questions.
  14. Maintain a list of international office-holders from the Canadian Administration, Canadian ITU-T Sector Members and Canadian Associate Members.

8. Canadian Delegations and delegations

Canadian Delegation refers to the group of people registered under the auspices of the Canadian Administration at a study group or working party meeting, if any. The Canadian delegation comprises all the members of the Delegation, if any, plus those attendees authorized to register under the auspices of Canadian private sector members, if any. Each Canadian Delegation normally has a Head of Delegation, either the NSG Chair, or if they are not available, someone else as agreed by the Canadian Administration. Members of Canadian delegations attend study group or working party meetings both as representatives of the Canadian private sector members and the Canadian Administration. Unless identified otherwise, they will be considered by other participating organizations to be Canadian spokespersons.

The Head of Delegation and the Deputy Head of Delegation shall be Canadian citizens, living and working in Canada.

International office holders (Study Group Chairs and Vice-Chairs, Working Party Chairs and Vice Chairs, Rapporteurs and Associate Rapporteurs) reflect on the overall Canadian contribution to ITU-T work, which is generally supervised and coordinated by the CNO/ITU-T Steering Committee. Any nominees shall be fully informed of what is involved before accepting an appointment and shall seek concurrence from the CNO/ITU-T Steering Committee before any commitment. NSG Members attending an ITU-T meeting in leadership positions shall conduct themselves in a neutral and impartial manner and, as appropriate, shall make it clear when they intervene that it is as the leader of their activity.

In order for Members of the Canadian delegation to make a useful contribution to an international meeting of the ITU-T, they must be fully cognizant of Canada’s positions and the reasons for these positions. This level of knowledge is normally only attained by regular participation in the NSG process. Members of the Canadian delegation must be members of the relevant NSG.

Representatives of Canadian organizations that are not Canadian private sector members must obtain permission from the Canadian Administration to register under the auspices of the Canadian Administration, meeting by meeting. Such members of the Canadian Delegation may have their participation constrained by the Canadian Administration, e.g. where they would only be allowed to speak on behalf of the Canadian Administration with prior approval.

Canadian contributions will normally be presented to the study group or working party meeting by a member of the originating organization who has participated in the NSG discussions. A Canadian contribution shall only be presented to the meeting by a member of the originating organization or by a representative of the Administration. It shall not be presented by a delegate from a different nation, i.e. the presenter must not be registered as belonging to a country other than Canada. In the case of a Canadian private sector member contribution submitted jointly with a private sector member(s) from another delegation (see section 6.1), it is understood that the contribution may be presented by a representative of one of the other authoring organizations or by the representative’s Administration.

NSG Members attending a study group or working party meeting should be aware of all relevant Canadian positions so that interventions are consistent with the agreements reached within the NSG and with the spirit of consensus within the CNO. Invitees shall be cognizant of their status as members of the Canadian delegation, shall support Canadian contributions and positions, and shall refrain from unauthorized interventions.

Canadian private sector members attending an ITU-T meeting as part of the Canadian delegation shall, when making an intervention, make it clear whether their statement reflects a proposal by their organization or a national position.

Attendees at all ITU-T meetings are responsible for registering directly with the TSB using their Telecommunication Information Exchange Service (TIES) access or as guests.

Members of the Canadian delegation at study group or working party meetings shall attend delegation meetings called at the request of the Head of Delegation.

If, during a study group or working party meeting, any matters arise that require the establishment of a Canadian position or appear to impinge upon an established position, a meeting of the Canadian delegation may be requested by any member of the Canadian delegation, assuming there is a Canadian Head of Delegation at the meeting. In particular, such delegation meetings shall be used to resolve differences on positions among Canadian organizations; differences shall not be discussed on the floor of international meetings.

During study group or working party meetings, new matters that have not been the object of previous study in Canada may be raised for discussion. Members of the Canadian delegation at these meetings should attempt to achieve consensus before opinions are stated on these matters. If it is not possible to achieve consensus within the Canadian delegation, any members of the Canadian delegation who intervene should indicate that the opinions expressed are solely those of their organization.

The Canadian delegation at a study group or working party meeting chaired by the Head of Delegation has the authority to author Canadian positions and approve them by consensus of those present. This provision is intended to allow spontaneous Canadian responses to situations as they arise during the course of a meeting. Note that this provision does not have the usual safeguards that apply to the preparation of contributions or positions in Canada. Therefore, if concerns arise, NSG Members may request CNO Steering Committee review of the use of this provision.

Designated NSG Members are expected to report back to the NSG Chair on the study group or working party meetings they have attended so that the NSG Chair can fulfill their duties specified in section 5.5.


9. Hosting

9.1 Offering to host ITU-T meetings

It is the privilege of an ITU-T member organization of the Canadian private sector to host an ITU-T meeting in Canada at its own discretion and expense. To do so, the Canadian private sector member shall inform the Secretariat of the offer to host, which will then inform the Steering Committee.

9.2 Responding to request to host ITU-T meetings

The following guidance is provided to assist members on how to respond to formal and informal requests to host an official ITU-T meeting.

  1. All formal or informal requests from the ITU-T (or from the Chairs of study groups) should be directed to the Secretariat of the Steering Committee. If such requests are made in the course of an international meeting, the Head of the Canadian delegation of that meeting can confirm Canada’s conditional acceptance, if one or more of the Canadian private sector member organizations present at the meeting is willing to be the host and cover all the expenses. Otherwise, the Head of the Canadian delegation shall refer the request in writing to the Secretariat in Ottawa without making any commitment at the international meeting.
  2. The Steering Committee shall ensure that a consistent approach is taken in the hosting arrangements. For example, some flexibility exists in the funding arrangements of the travelling costs for the ITU-T Secretariat. Canada’s approach to negotiating such funding shall be consistent.
  3. There may be opportunities for two or more Canadian private sector member organizations to co-host and co-sponsor a meeting in Canada. Such cases shall be rationalized according to the following criteria:
    1. The area of activity of the group seeking to be hosted by Canada is of interest to two or more Canadian private sector member organizations.
    2. The dates of the meeting do not conflict with other events, and thus do not impose undue strain on national resources.
    3. The organizational efforts required and the associated costs are significant enough to warrant that more than one organization sponsor the event.

9.3 Categories of ITU-T meetings

There are three categories of ITU-T meetings liable to be hosted by Canada: study group meetings, working party meetings and other working group meetings.

9.3.1 Study group meetings

The hosting of a study group meeting requires special organizational effort (usually a special organizational committee) and implies the provision of substantial support services (e.g. typing, photocopying, electronic document distribution), interpretation services, protocol arrangements (i.e. opening ceremony) and social events. In addition, the hosting country and hosting organization(s) cover the travelling costs and allowances of two or three members of the ITU-T Secretariat. Meetings of study groups are usually held in hotels or conference facilities, implying additional costs and logistics.

It is acknowledged that the hosting of a study group meeting in Canada warrants co sponsoring by two or more Canadian private sector member organizations, subject to the agreement of such organizations. It is implicitly acknowledged that it is the privilege of each Canadian private sector member organization to decide whether it should co-sponsor an event and to decide the level and magnitude of its contribution.

9.3.2 Working party meetings

The hosting of a working party meeting, while less formal than a study group, implies a substantial organizational effort due to the number of participants, large support requirements (e.g. electronic document distribution) and, in some cases, interpretation services. The hosting country and hosting organization(s) cover the travelling costs and allowances of at least one ITU-T engineer. Social events are also customary.

It is acknowledged that the hosting of a working party meeting in Canada warrants co sponsoring by two or more Canadian private sector member organizations, subject to the agreement of such organizations. It is implicitly acknowledged that it is the privilege of each Canadian private sector member organization to decide whether it should co-sponsor an event and to decide the level and magnitude of its contribution.

9.3.3 Other working group meetings

Other working groups consist of drafting groups, rapporteur groups, ad hoc groups and others to discuss specific subject matter for reporting back to study groups and working parties. Meetings of these other working groups are usually very informal and involve a relatively small number of people. Support services are minimal, interpretation services are not provided, and social functions are kept to a minimum.

It is generally assumed that the relatively low cost and low organizational effort required to host meetings of other working groups do not warrant co-sponsorship. In principle, an interested Canadian private sector member organization should consider hosting the meeting (usually in its own office facilities) and covering the associated costs. This does not preclude the opportunity for two or more organizations to decide to share the costs of a given working group meeting.

9.4 Social events

This section provides guidelines regarding hosting responsibilities at social events. The social events program should generally correspond to the category of meeting being hosted.

In the case of meetings co-sponsored by various organizations, the following general guidelines are suggested:

  1. For study groups, there should be a cocktail reception on the first day of the meeting and a farewell dinner on the last day. A third event, such as a weekend outing, is optional. Coffee should be provided twice a day and a companions’ program should be organized, if warranted.
  2. For working parties, there should be a cocktail reception at the beginning or the end of the meeting. Coffee should be provided twice a day.
  3. For working groups, coffee should be provided twice a day and a welcome lunch should be organized for the first or second day. Note that for working groups sponsored by only one member organization, the hosting organization shall decide the level of social courtesy.

9.5 Funding

9.5.1 Direct financial support

Canadian private sector members will endeavor to commit direct financial support commensurate with the financial savings accrued as a result of having their representative(s) attend a particular meeting in Canada rather than overseas. Incremental contributions over and above these financial savings will be totally discretionary, based on the benefits of hosting a particular meeting in Canada, as perceived by individual members.

9.5.2 Contributions and gifts in kind

Non-monetary contributions (e.g. meeting facilities, equipment supplies, receptions, social events) may be sought from member organizations and other interested parties by those members assuming hosting responsibilities of a particular meeting in order to keep down the level of direct funding required to host the meeting.


10. Glossary

The following definitions, abbreviations and acronyms are used in this manual.

AAP Alternative Approval Process
CNO/ITU-T Canadian National Organization for the International Telecommunication Union – Telecommunication Standardization Sector
Canadian Delegation those attendees at an ITU-T meeting, if any, from the Canadian Administration or those registered under the auspices of the Canadian Administration
Canadian delegation all the members of the Canadian Delegation plus those attendees authorized to register under the auspices of Canadian ITU-T Sector Members, Associates and Academia
Canadian private sector member a Canadian ITU-T Sector Member, Associate or Academia institution
IEC International Electrotechnical Commission
ISO International Organization for Standardization
ITU International Telecommunication Union
ITU-D ITU Telecommunication Development Sector
ITU-R ITU Radiocommunication Sector
ITU-T ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector
JTC 1 Joint Technical Committee 1
NSG National Study Group
PP Plenipotentiary Conference
Question a description of an area of work to be studied, normally leading to the production of one or more new or revised Recommendations
Recommendation an answer to a Question or a text developed by the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group for the organization of the work of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector
SCC Standards Council of Canada
TAP Traditional Approval Process
TSAG Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group
TSB Telecommunication Standardization Bureau
WRC ITU World Radiocommunication Conference
WTDC ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference
WTSA World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly
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