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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

BDT Director's Speeches

Regional Development Forum for Asia and the Pacific Region
Bali, Indonesia  20 March 2017

ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Development Forum 2017
ICTs for Sustainable Development in Asia-Pacific 

20 March 2017
Bali, Indonesia

WELCOME REMARKS

By
Mr. Brahima Sanou
Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)


Mrs Farida Dwi Cahyarini, Secretary-General, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Republic of Indonesia; 

Mr Douglas Broderick, UN Resident Coordinator in Indonesia; 

Ms Areewan Hoarangsi, Secretary-General, Asia Pacific Telecommunity;

Representatives of UN agencies, Regional Organizations and ITU-D Sector Members;

Distinguished Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the ITU’s Regional Development Forum for Asia-Pacific here in Bali - the beautiful island of the Gods.  

Let me take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Government of Indonesia for hosting two important events this week: the Regional Development Forum (RDF) and the Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting (RPM) for the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17). 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The theme of this RDF: “ICTs for Sustainable Development in Asia-Pacific” is very timely as we embark in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals known as SDGs. 

The RDF is part of our efforts to strengthen ITU's regional presence and accountability. It also provides a great platform to go into deeper discussions on regional priorities and achievements as well as partnerships -- strengthening existing and building new. 

During this RDF we will share experiences and best practices on the promotion the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through partnerships.

We will end the day with a panel discussion on stimulating innovation. 

Today policy makers, regulators, private sector, development partners and all stakeholders of the ICT ecosystem need more than ever to establish an inclusive, multi-stakeholder and collaborative dialogue to achieve socio-economic development. The Regional Development Forum is a perfect platform for such dialogue.

We need to establish structured cross-sectoral dialogues and I am proud to say that, under my leadership, the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau has taken the lead in initiating such dialogues.

In 2016 the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) reached out to the financial sector by organizing a Global Dialogue on Digital Financial Inclusion with the support of the Gate Foundation in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

Also last year, ITU and WHO organized an inter-ministerial round table to discuss the use of ICTs to improve universal health coverage.

ITU and WHO have also partnered to support the use of mobile technology to improve the prevention and treatment of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) through the Be He@lthy Be Mobile initiative. In Asia-Pacific, we are currently working with India and the Philippines.

We also organized together with UNESCO a Policy Forum which brought together for the first time ministers of education and ministers of ICTs to explore the role that policies and cross-sectoral collaboration can play in fostering innovation and the use of mobile technology to improve the quality, equity and accessibility of education.

Building upon last year’s successful event, ITU and UNESCO will organize, on 24 March 2017, a similar event in Paris to examine how innovation can ensure inclusive and equitable education. 

ITU also worked with FAO to develop an e-Agriculture Strategy Guide to help Member States to adopt a strategic approach in making the best use of ICT developments in agriculture. Bhutan and Sri Lanka are the first two countries where FAO and ITU, working together with the respective ministries, regulators and partners, have assisted in developing their national e-RNR (renewable natural resources) Master Plan and e-agriculture strategy respectively. 

We are currently working together in Fiji, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea in developing E-agriculture Strategies.  

We must continue such a collaborative approach in order use the full potential of ICT to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Before I conclude, I would like to invite you to the 17th edition of the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) that will be held in Nassau, Bahamas, from 11 to 14 July 2017 and, of course, at WTDC 17 from 9 to 20 October in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Let me also use this opportunity to thank Member States, Sector-Members, Associate and Academia in the Asia-Pacific region as well as our partners for the active participation and support in the implementation of the ITU-D Dubai Action Plan. 

I look forward to continuing this great working relationship and collaboration, and I am sure that the outputs of this RDF will inspire the Regional Preparatory Meeting that will start tomorrow.

​Terima kasih!  Thank you very much!