• Honorable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
• CEOs of ICT industry
• Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure and honor to welcome to this High-Level Opening Segment of the World Summit on this Information Society Forum 2012.
As a Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the ITU, I am pleased to report that a lot of progress has been achieved since the WSIS Summit in Tunis in 2005. 7 billion subscribers of the mobile telecommunications, more than 2 billion Internet users give us the hope that basic access to the communication will accelerate the building of knowledge society beyond 2015. Notwithstanding this progress, there are many emerging issues to be addressed: cybersecurity, broadband, cloud computing, smart technologies, etc...
We need to ensure that ICTs remain at the heart of government priorities, and likewise of the private sector and civil society. Investment in the ICT infrastructure and applications need to continue. It is against this background that the ITU continues to convene at the regional level Connect Summits. Only this year, in March in Doha, Qatar, Arab States have identified multibillion investment opportunities in the region. From 17 to 19 July in Panama, we hope that the same level of commitment will be generated.
Predictable Policy and regulation need to be continuously adjusted in order to foster investment, innovation and job creation. That is why the ITU works hand in hand with regulators and industry from all over the world to address their challenges. The 12th Global Symposium for Regulators will take place in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 2nd to 4th of October 2012, and the 2013 session will take place in Poland.
The theme of this High-Level Opening Segment is ‘ICT for Sustainable Development: WSIS beyond 2015’.
Within the framework of the Rio+20 process, governments are seeking to work towards a new paradigm of sustainable development. It is our responsibility to ensure that this new paradigm clearly recognizes the powerful enabling role of the ICTs for socio-economic development and that we do our utmost to bring this paradigm into reality on the ground.
I have every confidence that our discussions today will help build momentum towards the necessary progress to achieve the goals of WSIS as well as build the vision beyond 2015.
To take us through this High level segment it is my pleasure to call upon Ms. Nishai Pillai, Former BBC World journalist to moderate our interventions.
Geneva, Switzerland 5/13/2012