Excellency, Mr Mongi Marzoug, Minister of Information and Communication Technologies, Tunisia,
Excellency Mr Hamadi Jebali, Head of the Tunisian Government
o Mr Janis Karklins, UNESCO
o Mr Mongi Hamdi, UNCTAD, CSTD
o Mr Mohamed Touijri, League of Arab States
o Mme Elham Ibrahim, African Union Commission
o Pr Donald Kaberuka, ADB
o Mr Haidar Fraihat, ESCWA
o Mr Makane Faye, ECA
o Mme Widad Bouchammaoui, UTICA, Tunisia
Ladies and gentlemen
It is a great honour to be here with you this morning and to speak on behalf of the ITU’s Secretary-General, Dr Touré, who unfortunately cannot be with us today.
Tunisia has a unique role and significance in the WSIS Process. Indeed, it was Tunisia that first proposed having a WSIS summit and which has hosted the Summit’s second phase. This has brought the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Since the two phases of WSIS, we have experienced an extraordinary development of ICTs. We are living in very exciting times. The transition to a digital society is changing almost everything we do. The pace of change will continue to accelerate, delivering faster and more powerful computers, and smarter and more complex applications and services. My belief is that the best is yet to come.
The upcoming ITU report on Measuring Information Society 2012 confirms that the uptake of both fixed broadband and mobile broadband services continues to grow worldwide. By the end of last year, the number of fixed broadband subscriptions had grown by 70 million to reach almost 600 million. Mobile broadband subscriptions grew by 40 per cent during 2011, reaching almost 1.1 billion by the end the year.
The number of mobile-cellular subscriptions has been continuously increasing in the developing world, bringing the global total to around 6 billion.
All this growth would not happen without real commitment at highest possible level. We have seen this demonstrated at two ITU ‘Connect the world Summits’, one for the Arab States in March and the other for Americas in July. Heads of states, heads of governments, ministers and private sector leaders identified regional priorities for real action and investment opportunities. For instance during Connect Arab States hosted by Qatar, level of the investment opportunities identified exceeded 50 billion dollars.
We believe that implementation of these high level commitments will be facilitated by win-win partnerships, and the upcoming ITU TELECOM World, to be held in Dubai from 14-18 October 2012, will be a good opportunity for all of you to discuss real business. I hope to see many of you there.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
The main challenge we face together today is to develop a vision for the WSIS Process beyond 2015, identifying emerging trends and defining a WSIS process beyond 2015, WSIS +10.
It is my pleasure to inform you that during the Chief Executive Board Spring Session held at ITU Headquarters in April 2012, the plan of action on the Overall Review Process (WSIS+10), was endorsed at the UN level and ITU was tasked to play a lead managerial role for this process.
In follow up to the plan of action the WSIS Forum 2012 launched preparations for the WSIS+10 Review. Multi-stakeholder consensus was reached on the following:
• preliminary indications for the scope of the possible forward looking outcome, setting agenda beyond 2015
• templates for the reports of the lead facilitators on the Action Lines
• templates for the national self-evaluation reporting on the implementation of the WSIS outcomes
I assure you that ITU is doing its best to provide the necessary means for developing the vision that corresponds to the real needs of the knowledge society. WSIS+10 remains in central point of the WSIS Forums, WSIS Stocktaking, WSIS Project Prizes, UN Group on the Information Society as well as of the Pratnership on the Measuring the ICT for Development.
We await the descision of UN General Assesmbly on WSIS+10. This will form the basis for the starting the formal preparatory process of the Overall Review of the Implementation of the WSIS Outcomes (WSIS+10), including the multi-stakeholders event in 2013 and concluding high level event in 2014 to be held back to back with the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference, in Egypt, Sharm el Shaik.
In this context let me reiterate our call to all stakeholders for proactive engagement in the preparatory process for WSIS+10. Lets join the forces to ensure that new vision beyound 2015 is inclusive, representative and responds to the real needs of the new ICT ecosystem, while accelerating socio-economic development worldwide.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have the same passion and are working for the same cause of connecting people and bringing the benefits of ICTs to people, hence together, we need to ensure that ICTs remain at the top of the political agenda worldwide.
I wish you all the best for a very successful ICT4all 2012.