ITU

Committed to connecting the world

World Telecommunication Development Conference 2014

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Statement by H.E. Mr. Michalis Papadopoulos, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks of the Hellenic Republic, Greece


Mr. Chairman,

Secretary-General Dr. Touré ,

Deputy Secretary General Mr. Zhao,

Directors Brahima Sanou , Francois Rancy and Mr Malcolm Johnson,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by thanking our host, the Government of the United Arab Emirate, for the hospitality we are all enjoying.

It is my great pleasure and honour to be here before you today on the occasion of the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2014.

I am even more honoured to address this speech as ITU marks its 150th anniversary, while my country, one of the twenty (20) founding members of the Union, is at the same time member of the ITU Council and has the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

I would like to use this opportunity to inform you that, during the Hellenic Presidency of the EU Council, two regulatory tools of great importance for the EU telecoms law have been almost completed: the first one is the Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS), and the second one is the Directive on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed broadband communications networks.

Indeed, ladies and gentlemen, broadband can bridge the global development gap.

This is the reason why one of the two events recently held in Athens, in the context of the Hellenic Presidency, organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, in cooperation with the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the International Telecommunication Union and the European Commission, was the Regional Conference titled "Speeding up NGN ubiquity: a pillar for digital growth", where we had an opportunity for high level interaction among stakeholders on strategies and policies directed towards broadband development in the region, while discussing the challenges and opportunities offered by high speed networks and e-services provided by modern infrastructure.

The second event, complementing the first and clarifying our priorities, was titled "Safety and Security in Cyber Space: Building-up Trust in the EU". It was organized also in cooperation with the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the International Telecommunication Union and the European Commission.

We strongly believe that we need to examine and develop strategies and policies directed towards a more protected and reliable cyber space, laying emphasis on potential cyber threats and areas that have scope for improvement, while building confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies.

Now, as far as my country is concerned, I would like to highlight that we are in the process of laying down a National Broadband Plan - that is the roadmap of the country - aiming to increase broadband penetration, while meeting the targets of the Digital Agenda for Europe 2020.

Moreover, we have put much effort in the Rural Broadband project in order to bridge the existing digital gap in terms of broadband coverage for the entire territory. In addition to the above, Greece deployment of a national- wi-fi hotspots network has been announced, in order for citizens and tourists to have internet access at points of public interest, as also our Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pointed out.

We all realise the fast changes taking place in telecommunications worldwide, both in spectrum exploitation and in ICTs.

The current challenge is to find ways to enhance necessary cooperation among states, in order to promote development of telecommunications and ICTs on the one hand and address world problems such as climatic change on the other, to the benefit of national economies, by supporting investment and new jobs, and of all citizens.

I have the pleasure to be at the opening session of this conference, which is an excellent opportunity for cooperation in the field of telecommunications. I believe the conclusions to be drawn from this conference will be a strong message as regards the development of high technology / green telecommunication services for citizens, because digital development equals financial development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would also like to use this opportunity to announce the Greek candidature for the ITU Council and ask for your support.

Thank you for your time and attention.