Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

ITU Honour Day at World Expo 2010

17 May 2010, Shanghai, China



Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure and a privilege to be with you here in Shanghai for ITU Honour Day at World Expo 2010, which is being celebrated today on the 145th anniversary of the founding of ITU in 1865. I sincerely thank the Expo 2010 to arrange this ceremony, and sincerely thank the Excellencies to be with us at this ceremony.


Cloud of words: ITU, world, China, Expo, people, mobile, communications, ... 

The world has changed almost beyond recognition over the past century and a half, and much of this change has been driven by advances in information and communication technologies.

ITU was founded so that international communications traffic – originally telegraph messages – could easily cross borders. And through our long history we have brokered the agreements and forged the standards which have made global communications possible. From telephone and fax traffic to mobile phones, satellites and the internet.

And we have championed the rights of all people to communicate. The right to have equitable and affordable access to modern communications technology. The right to play a part in the knowledge society.

We have had many successes. Most notably, we have gone from a world where only a few people in wealthy countries had access to ICTs, to a world where we will soon have five billion mobile cellular subscriptions. A world where even in rural and remote areas in developing countries, household penetration of mobile is now over 50%. A world where fixed and mobile broadband access is growing rapidly.

But we still have far to go.

Three quarters of the world’s people still lack access to the internet, and fewer than 5% of people in developing countries have broadband access.

This is a challenge – but it is also an unprecedented opportunity. Perhaps the greatest opportunity we have ever had to drive improvements in social and economic prosperity, and to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

As Secretary-General of ITU, I stand before you today committed to making the world a better place.

Committed to making the world a better place by using the power of ICTs to drive change.

Committed to making the world a better place by ensuring that all the world’s people have affordable and equitable access to ICTs.

As the UN specialized agency with responsibility for ICTs, ITU plays a key role in ICT regulation, standardization and development. We have a long and successful history behind us, and I look forward to using these solid foundations to help us build a long and successful future.

In doing this we count on – and appreciate – the support of each and every one of our 191 Member States, and this of course includes China.

Indeed, we are very fortunate to be here today, in China, as we celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2010, and I look forward to giving the WTISD laureates their awards a little later on this afternoon.

Thank you






2010年5月17日, 中国上海





成立国际电联的目的在于方便国际通信业务 – 起初是电报信息 – 的跨境传送。我们这个组织在漫长历史上达成了各项协议,制定了各种标准,从而实现了通信全球化,完成了从电话和传真业务到移动电话、卫星和互联网的提升。





这既是挑战 – 也是前所未有的机遇,或许是我们迄今遇到的推动社会和经济走向繁荣并加快实现千年发展目标进程的最大机遇。