Permanent Secretaries and all Dignitaries here present,
Ms. Bernadette Lewis, Secretary-General of the CTU
I am happy to be in Trinidad and Tobago to participate in the 8th Caribbean Ministerial ICT Strategic Seminar and I would like, on behalf of my delegation, to thank CTU and the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago for the invitation for me to participate and the kind hospitality that I have experienced since I arrived here.
This is my first mission since taking up duties on 1st January following my election in October 2010. Not only am I delighted to be here, but I feel very proud and honoured that my first official mission takes place in the Caribbean. I would like to seize this opportunity to renew my gratitude to the Caribbean countries for their support.
During the coming four years we have the responsibility to implement the Hyderabad Action plan adopted by the last World Telecommunication Development Conference. In implementing the Hyderabad Action plan, I will put emphasis on the following areas:
In implementing all activities I will pay particular attention to Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States, land-locked developing countries, emerging economies, gender and emergency telecommunications.
- Infrastructure, including broadband infrastructure and transition from analogue to digital broadcasting, Regional Internet Exchange Points;
- Cyber applications in the framework of the Build on Broadband Initiative;
- Capacity building
- Enabling environment
To speed up the implementation of the 11 Action Lines of the WSIS, the ITU has started organizing multistakeholder meetings to call for action known as the Connect Series. The 1st was Connect Africa organized in 2007, the connect CIS was organized in 2010. We intend to organize Connect Arab States from 28 to 30 November 2011 and we are planning to organize Connect Americas in the 2nd quarter of 2012.
I am aware of the significant work done by both the CTU and CANTO in terms of preparation for Connect the Caribbean. The Connect the Americas Summit now being planned for the first half of 2012, we are looking at how all these pieces can best fit together. One could think that the work done by the CTU and CANTO could be built on as preparation of Caribbean countries for the Connect the Americas. BDT is ready to accompany the Caribbean countries in their preparatory process.
There are additional areas in which we should continue to work together. These include, but not limited to:
- Disaster management
- Transition from analog to digital broadcasting
- Institutional and human capacity building for the Caribbean
- Implementation of outcomes from the HIPCAR project and deciding on the next phase
I look forward to working with Caribbean governments, organizations, operators and all ICT stakeholders in the framework of multistakeholder arrangement.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank two of our sector members, the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations (CANTO) and Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) for their active participation in ITU activities and to pay special tribute to CTU and its Secretary-General, my sister Bernadette Lewis and her team.
There are other important organizations including
a) CARICOM which is now developing the Caribbean ICT4D strategy and I would like to recognize my sister Jennifer Britton
b) Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)
c) Caribbean Broadcasting Union
d) Organization of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR)
e) Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL, based in Washington)
I hereby pledge my full support to the Caribbean organizations which reflect the identity of the region in the world and commit myself to work in close cooperation with them to achieve the objectives set by their membership.
I also hope to see stronger participation of the Caribbean in ITU activities in the three Sectors: Development, Standardization and Radiocommunication.
I will conclude by an African saying that reminds us that God gave us two ears, two eyes and only one mouth. In a nutshell this means that when you respect someone you should listen to the person and not talk too much. I am here to listen to you in order to better serve you.
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 2/9/2011