BRAHIMA SANOU, DIRECTOR TELECOMMUNICATION DEVELOPMENT BUREAU
ITU AMERICAS REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FORUM
Montevideo, Uruguay (19 August 2013)
Mrs. Carolina Cosse, President ANTEL,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am addressing you at the end of what was a lively Forum. I want to thank all the participants for making this event so special for me. Whenever I go to a region where stakeholders are passionate about working together, sharing a common vision, and are open to new ideas, I feel rejuvenated and inspired. This is how I feel right now rejuvenated and inspired!
Forums of this nature are about bringing together people with multi-disciplinary backgrounds, and providing a platform for sharing experiences and for debating ways of ensuring sustainable futures for the ordinary people. I am pleased to say that this RDF has just done that. It has indeed lived to its theme: Building Knowledge for the Development of Inclusive Societies.
In the 21st century, coordinated efforts are needed as no single organization could single-handedly develop society, particularly in the field of ICTs. Equally important, is the fact that no individual, no community, and no nation should be left out of the information society. Universal Access for equal opportunity for all should be our guiding principle.
This region is already doing very well in terms of the ICT Sector. ICT penetration in the Americas stands above the global average for all key services. The private sector is very active across the region. The regulatory regime is quite impressive too. All these factors point to the fact that the aspirations expressed in this forum are possible, attainable, and achievable.
While broadband infrastructure development remains a priority today, we are also focusing on making sure that ICTs are used as a delivery vehicle for health, education, banking, and business. But again, this has to happen in a safe environment. Securing the information highway remains a big challenge for us all.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me give you some assurances. As Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, I have put in place mechanisms to support you as you work towards the establishment of the Knowledge Society. My team is at an advanced stage in mapping existing infrastructure across the globe with the aim of identifying gaps to be filled. The outcome of that work is vital for both policy makers and the private sector. In the same line, we are also providing technical support to countries in the design of broadband plans.
For those who were with us at the Global Symposium for Regulators 2013 in Poland, you must have seen the commitment of regulators in keeping pace with technology and their desire to continue to create a level playing field.
I know and I am committed to strengthening capacity building efforts of countries. I also believe in partnership building. To build an all-inclusive Knowledge Society, the public and private sectors must work together closely. Academia and industry must closely cooperate. ITU is fortunate in that respect as we are the only United Nations Organization with a membership comprising Member States, Private Sector and Academia.
In closing, I would like to thank all the panelists and the moderators and all the participants for such exciting exchange of ideas. You can count on my support in ensuring that this region continues to make progress not only in the area of ICTs but in poverty alleviation and economic growth. Your valuable ideas coming out of today's Forum will be submitted to the Regional Preparatory Meeting that will start tomorrow morning.
I would also like to thank the staff of Ministry, the staff of ANTEL the interpreters, and all the people who worked behind the scene to make this forum successful.
Allow me to thank the ITU staff and particularly the Regional team under the direction of Bruno Ramos, the newly appointed Regional Director for Americas.
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at the RPM and for those who will be leaving us to today I thank you for coming to share your ideas and wish you a nice trip back
I thank you.