Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

BDT Director's Speeches

ITU-D Study Group 1 Plenary Session 2017
Geneva, Switzerland  27 March 2017

ITU-D Study Group 1 Plenary Session 2017

Opening Ceremony

27 March 2017

Geneva Switzerland

Opening Speech

Brahima Sanou, Director,

ITU Telecommunication Development Sector

Mrs Roxanne McElvane Webber, Chair of Study Group 1

Vice-Chairs of Study Group 1

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to this meeting of ITU-D Study Group 1.

I would like to welcome Mrs McElvane Webber, the Chair of Study Group 1, all Vice-Chairs, rapporteurs, co-rapporteurs and vice-rapporteurs and all participants, including those who are attending the meeting remotely.

This is the fourth and final meeting of ITU-D Study Group 1 for the study period 2014-2017. Time has certainly passed quickly since we meet here in September 2014 following the WTDC-14.

During this meeting we will finalize the reports and other deliverables requested by the WTDC-14, which consist of practical guidance, checklists, guidelines and training material. The final reports and guidelines will then be presented for approval during our plenary session on Friday.  

The reports that you will approve this week will serve are useful tools and guidance for policy making, capacity building and implementation in your countries.

I would like to thank you for your commitment, dedication and the many hours you have put in to produce the reports before us, in a shorter time of three years compared to previous cycles which lasted four years.

I am well briefed about the excellent contributions that have been received on the various Questions under study, the fruit of which we can observe in the final reports and guidelines. Your reports will presented to WTDC-17 which will be held in Buenos Aires Argentina in October this year by the Chairman of Study Group 1.

I would like to congratulate you all for taking the Study Groups of ITU-D to a very high level. We need to continue this great work for the benefit our membership.

I know that many of you here have also participated in the Regional Preparatory Meetings where thoughts on the future of the ITU-D Study Groups have been shared. During this week, I would like to encourage you to continue exchanging thoughts and ideas on study groups working methods and questions for the future.

We definitely need to explore the future of workings methods and questions under study through the prism of innovation and thinking outside the box.

Issues such as yearly delivery of results instead of 4 years, the number of the questions, the nature of the questions, should be reviewed. Shouldn't we be looking at policy and regulatory implications of emerging technologies such as big data, cloud computing, internet of things an artificial intelligence in order to complement the work of ITU-T and ITU-R recommendations?

You are better placed than anybody else to make recommendations to WTDC-17 and I count on you to use this last session of the period to create a brighter future of ITU-D study groups.

Ladies and Gentlemen

My vision of the ITU-D Study Groups is clear: Study Groups represent a unique neutral platform where experts gather to produce relevant tools, useful guidelines and resources for our Membership. They generate innovative ideas and good practices for the benefit of all.

Furthermore, engaging in the work of ITU-D Study Groups gives access to a global pool of expertise and resources from which every country can benefit, regardless of the level of development and income.

The integration of the work of the study groups to other activities of ITU-D is now a reality but we will continue to work on it to make sure that you become the first choice of Experts and consultants for the activities of BDT.

Ladies and gentlemen:

2017 is an important year for the ITU's Development Sector. In addition to holding WTDC-17, the Sector celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Over the past 25 years we have together contributed immensely to the rapid growth and expansion of telecommunication/ICT networks and services, putting ICTs in the hands of billions of ordinary people.  Let us all join forces to mark this important Anniversary! We are planning to celebrate the ITU-D Anniversary on 11 October at WTDC-17 in Buenos Aires.

The theme of WTDC-17, ICT④SDGs, reaffirms the tremendous potential of ICTs to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs.

I know the task in front of you this week is not easy given the time available and the reports that you need to consider.

Before I conclude, I would like to thank Mrs McElvane Webber for her dedication and commitment in leading Study Group 1 for the past 3 years. I know it has been a very intense work but I hope it has also been rewarding for all of you.

I would also like to thank all Vice-Chairs, rapporteurs, co-rapporteurs and vice-rapporteurs for their work on the various study Questions. I would also like to thank all the contributors for sharing their views and enriching the work of ITU-D Study Groups.

I wish you all an enjoyable and productive meeting.