At the invitation of the Government of South Africa, the ITU's World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08) was held in Johannesburg between 21 and 30 October. The Assembly - the first held on the African continent and the first chaired by a woman, Lyndall Shope-Mafole - was attended by some 700 participants comprised by about 100 delegations. The WTSA-08 was also the first Assembly preceded by the Global Standardization Symposium (GSS), which addressed the theme ''Bridging the Standardization Gap''.
The decisions which resulted from this Assembly can be grouped into four broad areas: working methods of the Standardization Sector (ITU-T), re-structuring of the Study Groups (SG), issues with relevance in the context of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and Bridging the Standardization Gap.
The WTSA-08 took steps to restructure its working methods and the organisation of its study groups, bringing about not only their reduction, but also the higher incidence of co-located meetings and remote participation.
With respect to the WSIS, several resolutions were adopted with the aim of pursuing the implementation of its results. In turn, with regard to the reduction of the digital gap, several resolutions were reviewed and approved, aimed at increasing the participation of developing countries in the work of ITU.
New resolutions were also adopted on information and communication technologies (ICT) and climate change, ICT accessibility for people with disabilities and on the ITU mark programme.