Mr. Secretary General, Dr Hamadoun Toure
Mr. Deputy Secretary General Houlin Zhao
Directors of Bureaus: Mr. Johnson, Mr. Sanou and Mr. Rancy
Ladies and gentlemen!
Warm greetings from the people and Government of Nepal!
First of all, let me, on behalf of the Government of Nepal, my Delegation and on my own, thank the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Government of United Arab Emirates, for the invitation to this Conference. I also take this opportunity to thank you for the warm hospitality and excellent logistics arrangement.
ITU-Development Bureau's (ITU-D) activities of the last four years have been very important in achieving the strategic Goals of ITU-Development Bureau, especially to bridge the digital divide within and across nations and to promote the integration of the use of telecommunications/ICTs into the broader economy and society as a driver of development, innovation, well‐being, growth and productivity. The overall performance of the telecommunications/ICT sector on the global, regional and national levels has improved in these years since the Hyderabad conference. We believe that this conference should focus on whether we could achieve the broad objectives we had set and implement the corresponding programs identified and resolutions adopted. To be more specific, it should focus on success in, among other things, fostering international cooperation for the utilization of appropriate new technologies including broadband, developing the strategies to enhance the deployment, security and safe and affordable use of ICT applications and services, creating and maintaining an enabling policy and regulatory environment, building human and institutional capacity, and providing concentrated and special assistance to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and countries in special needs. This will help us identify the gaps in the vision and implementation capability and be able to chart the future course of action accordingly.
We should also reflect upon the usability of the outputs produced by the study groups. We have to make sure these outputs reach to the membership in a timely manner, and these recommendations or guidelines therein are internalized within respective national policy frameworks. It is incumbent upon the membership that the huge repository of information and knowledge is readily available for the members and used for the maximum benefits of the people at large.
Now I would like to extend special thanks to the ITU , in particular, ITU Regional Office for the Asia and the Pacific in particular for assistance to my country in preparing wireless broadband master plan, regulatory framework for making mobile phones and ICTs accessible for persons with disabilities, and Quality of Service Regulation, to name a few. I would like to recognize Dr Eun-Ju Kim and Mr. Sameer Sharma and other colleagues of the Regional Office for their continuous support and cooperation.
Despite a number of challenges including ones related to political transition as well as infrastructural and institutional bottlenecks, Nepal has made significant progress in the field of Telecommunications/ICTs/Broadband. We have initiated the process of migration into a unified licensing regime, brought a new spectrum policy that will pave the way for assignment of 3G and 4G spectrum. We are also planning to build national broadband network of optical fiber utilizing the Universal Service Fund. The proposed broadband policy is in the consultation phase now and will be ready for adoption soon. To ensure the sustainability of broadband system, We have started implementation of the e-Government Master Plan. "Connect a School, Connect a Community Project" has already begun. Infrastructure sharing guidelines is being prepared to avoid duplication of infrastructure investment. ITU has been very supportive in all these initiatives.
We are convening this Conference at a time when Dublin meeting of UN Broadband Commission has unequivocally asked everyone to recognize broadband as the vital development enabler in post-2015 UN Sustainable Development framework. Broadband has already been proved to be a valuable asset for addressing peoples' developmental aspirations like poverty alleviation, and universal access to better health care, education and basic social services in developing countries. Let us accept the fact that broadband can solve the global development gap. It has a transformational potential. I am fully convinced that developmental aspirations of the peoples of the LDCs and the developing counties can be realizeded to the fullest only through the appropriate use of ICTs including broadband.
I have the full confidence that this conference will be able to draw upon lessons from the past and chart a future course of action to ensure that the Telecommunications/ICTs/Broadband be not only a flourishing industry-fully supported by the entire ecosystem but also an agent and means for meeting peoples' aspiration for sustainable development in all member states. Before I close, let me wish you all a successful conference.