Your excellency Jorge Glass, Minister of Strategic Sectors,
Your excellency Jaime Guerrero, Minister of Telecommunications,
Honourable Augusto Barrera, Lord Mayor of Quito,
Distinguished participants at this Congress,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the end of this Fourth International Congress on Telecommunication, Information Technologies and Communication, let me address my sincerest thanks to the organizers, Dr Zoila Ramos and Dr Mauro Flores; to the national and local authorities who were present; to the regional bodies represented here; and of course to all the participants who made this event so successful.
It has been an honour and a great pleasure to be with you here in this wonderful country this week, and on behalf of ITU let me say how pleased we are to see that Ecuador is so clearly using ICTs to deliver improvements in health, education and government services, and to help bring about what you quite rightly call ‘good living’.
I have been very impressed with the drive and motivation demonstrated by the authorities here, under the leadership of Minister Jorge Glass, in relation to programmes across different strategic sectors which have benefitted from ICTs.
Equally, who could fail to be impressed by the indicators demonstrating ICT development here, which is the responsibility of Minister Jaime Guerrero: mobile cellular teledensity of 106%; over 10% broadband penetration; the move to digital television by 2014; and the continuing ambitions and successes of the national connectivity plan.
Looking at the 4,5000 connected schools in Ecuador as just one example, I was grateful to be able to visit the ‘Unidad Educativa del Milenio Bicentenario’ south of Quito earlier this week. There, I was able to witness first-hand the emphasis placed on fully-integrating young people and their families into the Information Society.
All of this demonstrates the importance Ecuador accords to ICTs, with a special emphasis on universal service, investments in rural connectivity, and the rapid rollout of broadband infrastructure.
The authorities here have shown me a great deal in a short space of time, and I am delighted – both personally, and on behalf of ITU – to see that Ecuador shares our vision to ‘Connect the World’, and to bring the benefits of ICTs to each and every one of its citizens
Before I close, let me remind you that we are very much looking forward to holding the ‘ITU Connect Americas’ summit next year, which will build on the successes already achieved at ITU Connect Africa in 2007 and ITU Connect CIS in 2009.
I am confident that the Connect Americas event will be well-supported by countries across the region, and of course by Ecuador, and that the summit will serve to help address the specific challenges this region faces.
Let me therefore take this opportunity to encourage new generations to embark upon Research and Development careers which will help create the smart new technologies which will allow the social and economic benefits of ICTs to reach all the peoples of the region.
I am filled with emotion with everything I have seen and done in Ecuador, and we at ITU remain absolutely committed to working with you to continue bridging the digital divide; continue developing globally useful standards; and continue enhancing capacity-building capabilities.
It has been a pleasure this week to participate in this Congress, and to witness the true ICT revolution which is taking place here in Ecuador. At ITU we are honoured to play our part in your ICT revolution.