20 August 2015
Mr. Brahima Sanou
Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is indeed a great pleasure to be here with you in Bangkok tonight for the commemoration of ITU’s 150 years journey in the development of information and communication technology.
Mr. Houlin Zhao, the ITU Secretary-General of ITU, would have loved to be here with us this evening, but because of another compelling commitment beyond his control, he could not make it.
So on his behalf and on behalf of my other fellow Elected Officials of ITU, l would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to the Government of Thailand and especially to Ministry of ICT who is our host for the Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on e-Government, Smart Cities, and Digital Societies for Sustainable Development, the celebration tonight and the Asia-Pacific Regional Development Forum or RDF in the coming two days.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Yes, 150 years at the service of the population of the world. Through the communication we have achieved a great deal of changing the face of the world at an accelerated pace.
I am proud to remind you that we are working in the sector that has brought about the two wealthiest persons in the world.
You are leading a sector that has created the biggest number of jobs over the past decade.
We are facilitating the development of a sector where a student could become a multi-billionaire in a 3-year timeframe. We are promoting a sector that has become the backbone of the world economy. What a nice journey based on peaceful consensus building and what a great achievement.
It is not by surprise that we are celebrating ITU’s 150th Anniversary here today in Bangkok, Kingdom of Thailand. Thailand is one of the champions of this journey because Thailand became ITU Member 132 years ago in 1883.
Over these 132 years, Thailand has been working in close collaboration with ITU in promoting development of telecommunications and ICTs in Thailand, in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world. Thailand is one of the ITU standing Council Member and its contribution to the work of the Council is very well appreciated.
I would like to recognize and express our gratitude to the Thai Government for its tremendous support to the ITU, not only by greatly supporting a number of global and regional ITU events, but also for hosting the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
I also admire and commend the government of Thailand and of course the MICT particularly in their initiative of ‘Digital Economy Thailand’ aiming at harnessing the power of ICTs to promote social and economic development of the nation.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We have indeed come a long way since that morning of 17 May 1865, one hundred and fifty years ago, when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris, bringing into existence the International Telegraph Union.
Telecommunication, information and communication technology (ICT) have evolved over these 150 years – from telegraphy to digital data streams that now govern our ways of communicating and doing business.
Our lives have become so dependent on ICTs, that for many of us it has become very difficult to imagine a life without the Internet, without access to email and without social media.
Today, increasingly, we are talking more and more about big data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Everything, and where we expect to be connected everywhere and at all times.
As ITU family we should be very proud of the huge contributions telecom/ICT have brought to humanity, contributing to changes in our economy, our culture and our lives.
ITU has been playing its part through the coordination of global resources, including spectrum and satellite orbital resources; through its international standards; and the development of an enabling environment and promoting innovation, but it was through the support of our members, partners, and all related stakeholders that ITU has been able to achieve in the last 150 years what it has been able to do so successfully.
My deep appreciation goes to partners and sponsors and to all of you for your presence tonight which is an honor for me and for ITU.
Happy 150th Birthday to you ITU !!!
I thank you.