Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me first to add my voice to that of the Deputy Secretary General of ITU to express my deep appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Moldova, for hosting this Regional Preparatory Meeting. The great city of Chisinau, well known for its beauty and the people of Moldavia well known for their hospitality, will no doubt provide inspiration to us all as we deliberate.
Let me at this point welcome all the delegates to this CIS Regional Preparatory Meeting. This event marks an important milestone in our preparations for the next World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), which is to be held 31st March to 11th April 2014 in Sharm El-Cheikh, Egypt.
As you all know, this is the first of the 6 Regional Preparatory Meetings to be held before the next WTDC. I am very optimistic that we will have a successful event, judging by the high quality of contributions and the high attendance.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The CIS region is one of the most dynamic regions of the world, especially in the field of mobile communications and e-applications. The growth over the last three years is very impressive. Almost all countries, reached the 100-percent level of coverage. Internet penetration has also been quite impressive over the last few years. Further, the region has been registering high growth in the use of personal computers, and almost all countries practically completed transitioning to digital technologies on fixed networks.
When one combines all these achievements, it is clear that the countries in this region have identified ICT as a priority and a driving force towards sustainable development.
With the aim of supporting this very positive political will that has led to these positive developments in the region, I am pleased to share with you some of the initiatives that I have launched.
The first initiative is m-Powering Development. Out of the 7 billion of the world population there 5.9 billion who have access at least to one mobile phone regardless of their geographic location, their income and their age. The m-Powering Development initiative seeks to build partnership around this rapid growth of mobile communications across the globe to deliver ICT applications in education, health, government, banking, environment, business and others.
The second initiative is Smart Sustainable Development Model (SSDM). Its aim is to link emergency telecommunication and sustainable development in order to optimize the use of the resources of the ICT sector. The business case is to use excess capacities for delivering social services in the remote and vulnerable areas to trigger development while training these service providers to become the emergency telecommunication operators when natural disaster strikes.
The third initiative is ITU Academy. Capacity building is a very important element of ITU-D work and it is my strong belief that there is no sustainable development without proper institutional and personal capacity. This initiative has two fold.
On one side it will be developing training modules and tool kits for countries and academic institutions covering ITU-T, ITU-R and ITU-D work and partnership arrangements are being put in place with academic institutions for quality assurance.
On the other hand it will serve as a platform for sharing training modules and opportunities around the world.
For more information on these initiatives, we brought some brochures for your perusal. On this note, I am pleased to state that, I have already established a team which is working on the full implementation of these initiatives.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since taking office, I have made regional initiatives the main focus of the work of the BDT. As these initiatives are directly given to us by the member states, I believe that implementing such projects is the best way of delivering to the membership. Since then operational planning activities have generally been built around the regional initiatives. I have also put a lot of emphasis on the work of Study Groups as this is the main source of our intellectual input in the work that we do.
As part of continuous improvement in all aspects of ITU-D activities, I established a new division within the BDT structure which deals with innovation. We started a series of innovation challenge brain storming meetings. The first focused on the review of the ITU-D Study Groups and how the outputs of study groups could be used to improve our day to day work. The second focused on WTDC-14 preparations with Participants coming from all regions all regional organizations.
We also looked it how best to incorporate the Result-Based Management approach in our future work.
These are just some of the many initiatives that I have taken to improve on our work in order deliver better to the membership. I promise you to continue in this direction because my ultimate goal for BDT to serve you each day better than the day before.
The rest of the activities that we implemented have been well covered in the relevant documents submitted for consideration to this RPM.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Regional Development Forum for the CIS region, which was held yesterday, was an opportunity to get inputs from larger stakeholder participants of ICT sector in the region. I am pleased to note, that the Forum was a great success. I thank you for your active participation and invaluable contributions.
It is my hope that during this RPM, we will identify priority areas, develop linkage between topics, study group questions and regional initiatives to be considered and possibly adopted by the upcoming WTDC.
Before concluding, please allow me to express my deep appreciation to the Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications (RCC) and the Director General of its Executive Committee Mr. Nurudin Mukhitdinov, for the good cooperation and collaboration with ITU.
Beyond Resolution 32 of WTDC-10 and Resolution 58 of PP-10, it is my deep conviction that Regional organizations are at some extent the pillars of ITU and that strong regional organizations can only make ITU stronger.
Let me also use this occasion to officially thank this region for providing ITU-D with a Chairman of TDAG and BDT with a Deputy to the Director.
I would like also to express my appreciation to all the countries of this region for their support and active participation to the activities of ITU-D and once again acknowledge, on behalf of all the participants the warm reception that we have received from our host.
The ultimate goal of ITU-D is to help bridge the digital divide between countries and within the countries. I know that we all share this goal.
Let us therefore make this RPM a resounding success.
I thank you.