Mr. Brahima Sanou
Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)
International Telecommunication Union
Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Americas for
World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14)
Montevideo, Uruguay, 20 August 2013
- Excellency Mr. Roberto Kreimerman, Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, Republic of Uruguay
- Honorable Ministers Permanents Secretaries, other Heads of Delegations and high dignitaries here present
- Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Buenos Dias, Good morning
I have pleasure in welcoming you to this Regional Preparatory Meeting. It is the third in a series of six regional preparatory meetings leading to the next World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC)
I would like to sincerely thank the Government of Uruguay, for hosting this Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Americas in this great city well known for its rich cultural heritage and beauty.
When I look at the facilities that we have been before us, I am convinced that the best way we could thank our host is to deliver a good output at the end of this meeting
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The RPM marks an important milestone in our preparations for the upcoming World Telecommunication Development Conference. It provides a forum for engaging ITU members in the WTDC process and an opportunity for them to consider at the regional level questions and priorities relating to telecommunication development, taking into account the needs and the characteristics of the region.
Judging by the large number of extremely high-quality contributions that we have received for this meeting, I have no doubt that we will have very good outcomes.
That is a healthy sign . It shows interest, enthusiasm, and most importantly, the commitment of our Membership in this region to ITU and ITU-D in particular. In fact, we continued to receive contributions until the last day well beyond the deadline.
Let me seize this opportunity to mention the contribution of CITEL to the logistics of this meeting in addition to its contribution on the substance. CITEL graciously translated 10 late contributions. This gesture goes far beyond translating documents. It is a strong sign of true partnership and the sign of the commitment of the Secretary General of CITEL, Mr. Clovis Baptista to this partnership.
Clovis and I understood very well that our resources are coming from the same membership, and as such, we have been working together to streamline our activities and optimize the utilization of our resources in the way that ITU fulfills its global mandate at regional level while CITEL fulfills its regional mandate in the ITU global ecosystem.
I would like to thank CITEL members, its Committees, particularly PCC-1 and the CITEL Secretariat for their contribution to the work of ITU-D.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Trends show that the Americas region is growing very fast. The fixed broadband penetration rate of 17.1 per cent is close to twice the global average of 9.8 per cent. 27 countries in the region have adopted or are almost adopting a national strategy and national plans to promote broadband. Mobile-cellular penetration surpassed the number of inhabitants in 2011.
This success is a result of commitment and hard work by countries in this region. Countries in the Americas region were among the early adopters of sector reforms to boost access to telecommunications/ICTs by setting the enabling legal and regulatory environment.
A recent article by the The Economist states that “…five countries in Latin America rank in the global top ten for “engagement with social networks. Seven of the 25 most-followed world leaders hail from the region.” This shows dynamism and proves that the political leadership has also embraced modern technologies.
I congratulate the region for all your achievements.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we start this RPM, let me briefly mention few key aspects of the report on the implementation of the Hyderabad Action Plan that will be presented later this morning.
When I took office in 2011, I committed to make the implementation of the Regional Initiatives top of my priorities. For that reason, I doubled the seed money allocated to Regional Initiatives from the regular budget to serve as seed money during our resource mobilization efforts.
I am pleased to report that today, the BDT is running 72 active projects valued at $75 plus million US Dollars. As you will see in the report, the overall implementation of the Operational Plan was 96.5% in 2011 and 97.5% in 2012. We started publishing a quarterly report on the implementation of the Hyderabad Action Plan and copy of the last release will be distributed later today.
Ultimately, what interest me are not the figures. We have embraced the Result Based Management principles. So, I am more concerned about the results on the ground, the impact made by the work that we do, and the benefits to the Member States.
Further, I want to report that I successfully took steps to strengthen the ITU Regional presence by harmonizing the staff structure of the field offices. This was possible thanks to the support of the ITU Secretary General and the other Elected Officials. As a result, the Area Offices of Bridgetown, Santiago and Tegucigalpa have now one more professional staff. This brings to an end the one-man office nightmare which we experienced over the past years.
Staff in the field has been empowered to work closely with the membership, the regional telecommunication organizations, our partners and other stakeholders to deliver results on the ground and impact the economic and social environment for the benefits of all the people.
I have also put a lot of emphasis on the work of the Study Groups. I want to thank this region and the Government of the United States for putting forward the name Ms. Roxanne McElvane to chair the ITU-D Study Group One in Hyderabad. Ms. Roxanne McElvane has done fantastic work. As we approach the end of this study period, you will all be proud of the outcomes. Thank you, Roxanne your dedication and commitment in advancing the work of the Sector.
We just concluded the Regional Development Forum yesterday. I must add that we had a very good attendance and held interesting discussions between the Member States, Sector Members, and other private sector players and entities. The summary of the discussions will be submitted to this RPM later today as information document while the substance of these discussions will inspire this RPM.
Distinguished representatives of the Member State and Sector Members,
I would like to reassure you that I am committed to continue innovating, building partnerships with the private sector and other stakeholders and players of the ICT ecosystem, and implementing activities and projects in favor of all the Membership, in particular those of this region.
My ultimate goal is to lead a BDT that serves you each day better than the day before, using the ICT principles, I for Inclusion, C for Cooperation/Consultation and T for Transparency.
I thank you.