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The 15th Asia-Pacific Telecommunity Standardization Program (ASTAP) Forum
 Bangkok, Thailand  09 - 11 March 2009 
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be with you today, I would like to thank APT for the invitation.

I would like to start by congratulating APT on reaching its 30th anniversary, and thanking APT on behalf of all ITU management for its contribution to the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08) in Johannesburg last year.

APT’s contribution to the WTSA was a major factor in its success.

In particular I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to APT for making Bob Horton available to chair Committee 4.

Committee 4 was responsible for the most radical restructuring that the standardization sector has seen.

This was in no small part due to Bob’s excellent guidance. Once again thank you Bob for your tremendous success.

I believe WTSA-08 has been recognised as one of the most successful Assemblies we have held.

It was preceded for the first time by a Global Standards Symposium (GSS) with many high level speakers including ministers, ambassadors, heads of regulatory bodies; CTOs of multinationals; heads of major standards bodies.

The conclusions addressed ways to bridge the standardization gap; challenges in the new standards landscape, including climate change and accessibility and ways to strengthen collaboration amongst standards bodies.

These conclusions were acted on by WTSA-08.

I would like to thank the Honourable Vice-Minister H.E. Mr. Nyugen Thanh Hung, Vice-Minster, Ministry of Information and Communications, Vietnam for successfully chairing the GSS.

And, I would also like to thank Dr Phan Tam for leading the work of the steering committee so successfully.

It was also the first WTSA to have an associated small exhibition.

I would like to thank ETRI for bringing to Johannesburg such exciting new technologies to show people the end result of all the hard work on standards.

I believe that we found inspiration in Johannesburg to move forward into an era of even greater efficiency and cooperation in our standards making, with many exciting new areas of work.

WTSA-08 considerably strengthened ITU’s role as the world’s pre-eminent global telecommunication and ICT standards body.

It recognized that bridging the standardisation gap is essential to ITU’s mission to connect the world.

I would also like to thank all the members from this region that put forward candidates for the leadership positions in our study groups, as well as the individuals themselves.

Asia-Pacific has 27 leadership positions including the chairmanship of five very important study groups.

I look forward to working closely with them to maintain and further improve ITU-T’s position as a leader in efficient international standards making.

Ladies and gentlemen, every time I am in the Asia-Pacific region I am reminded of the vitality of the information and communications technologies (ICTs) market here.

In these troubled financial times we should take heart from this.

The Asia-Pacific region has some of the world’s most sophisticated ICT markets.

Many of the world’s broadband leaders are here and some of the greatest levels of innovation are found here.

The WTSA called for a strengthening of our Technology Watch function and recognized that close collaboration with other SDOs, universities, academia and other related institutions is required.

I very much hope to receive contributions to this function from this region.

The ICT industry must continue to invest in research and innovation.

Investment in ICTs now makes as much sense as investment in the physical infrastructure of roads and railways during the great depression of the 1930’s.

So while the financial crisis will inevitably be very tough indeed for many ICT businesses, I believe it will also result in a revitalized industry and enable new entrants with new technologies to thrive. This is the conclusion of a recent report commissioned by the Secretary-General called “Confronting the Crisis – its impact on the ICT industry” which is available on the ITU website.

We look forward to collaborating with these ICT leaders and innovators to power the economic recovery across all sectors.

In the meantime we must make every effort to reduce the financial burden of our work through increased electronic working, limiting number and duration of meetings to the minimum necessary to efficiently carry out our work. I am pleased that recent study group meetings have been paperless meetings, and TSAG management has reduced the duration of the next TSAG to 3 days in line with the other Sectors’ advisory groups.

Ladies and Gentlemen, once again it is a pleasure to be with ASTAP again, especially to take this opportunity to thank you all for your contribution to ITU.

I look forward to our continuing collaboration.

Thank you
 

 

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