Roxanne McElvane the Chairman of Study Group 1
Vice-Chairmen, Rapporteurs, Vice-Rapporteurs
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure and an honour to be with you here today to open this second meeting of ITU-D Study Group 1 for the 2010 to 2014 study period. I am especially pleased to be here today, as it is the first time I take part in the Study Group meetings since taking office as Director of the BDT. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Ms. Roxanne McElvane the Chairman of Study Group 1, all Vice-Chairmen, Rapporteurs, Vice-Rapporteurs and all the participants, including those from around the world who, with great dedication, are attending this meeting virtually. In this respect, I would like to commend the excellent work carried out by Study Group 1 Rapporteurs’ Groups meetings held recently in May.
Ladies and gentlemen,
There have been a lot of important developments in the ITU-D Study Group topics with the number of Questions assigned to the two Study Groups for this study period by WTDC-10. I know how much hard work and dedication is needed from all of you to achieve the outcomes of each and every Question. My colleagues and I are available and fully committed to provide all support needed for the smooth running of your work during the period.
The Plenipotentiary Conference, in October 2010, highlighted many of these topics, such as the challenges related to putting in place broadband infrastructure; the continued growth of mobile services and applications for areas spanning from health to agriculture; new ways to connect people with disabilities; cyber security and capacity building to name but a few.
I should also mention Resolution 167 (Guadalajara, 2010) which calls upon the ITU to develop an action plan for electronic participation in its working groups and related meetings.
I am proud that BDT is pioneering a cutting-edge remote participation platform that will allow you and all the members of ITU-D Study Groups to join meetings remotely and collaborate in several languages with full simultaneous interpretation from just about anywhere in the world.
No doubt the new platform will greatly enrich the quality of discussions at ITU-D Study Group meetings, narrowing the ‘participation gap’ and allowing many more people from different countries to join the discussion.
Ladies and gentlemen
We all share the view that the ICT sector is such a fast moving environment that it puts pressure on us to innovate and constantly reassess what we are doing and find ways to be more efficient and effective in our work.
It is a sector where, no matter at what time you go to bed, when you wake up your first question must be what has changed and the second question is how can I add value to the change in order to remain relevant. Our aim is to keep the work we do here relevant and ensure that the outcomes are useful and practical for our membership.
I am committed to giving special attention to the study group activities and the strengthening of synergy between the study groups and the BDT programmes and activities in order to build on their results for the benefit of the whole ITU membership.
As you are no doubt aware, the role of the ITU-D Study Groups is critical in sharing knowledge and strengthening the knowledge base of our societies. ITU-D Study Groups are an ICT knowledge platform, a place to which new ideas and good practices from around the world are brought and where creative and useful guidelines are put together.
With the ITU-D Study Groups we hope to bring together experts and leaders in all these areas, from developed and developing economies, and put together useful guidelines, manuals, recommendations and reports that constitute a bulk of knowledge put at the disposition of the membership.
The ITU-D Study Groups are also a great capacity building mechanism. I see the Study Groups as a platform for experts, but at the same time as a way to build and strengthen the human capacity of developing countries in order for them to maximize the use of appropriate new technologies for the development of ICT infrastructure and services in their countries.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are all aware of the magnitude of the challenge ahead of us. I look forward to your active participation and whether you are one of our Sector Members, Associates, or Member States, I encourage you to think out of the box, especially as we are still relatively early in this study cycle, and to take the work of your specific Study Group Question to the next level!
I thank those of you who have been providing me with input and constructive feedback during my eight months as Director for the Bureau. This is a practice that I welcome dearly and encourage because I do believe and practice ICT principles in my relationship with membership and partners. By ICT principles I mean I for Inclusiveness, C for Consultation and T for Transparency.
I wish you a fruitful meeting.
I thank you
Geneva, Switzerland 9/5/2011