Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be here with you in Paris this morning.
Let me start by congratulating the accomplishments of UNCTAD in chairing UNGIS from May 2012 to January 2013, and to offer my very best wishes to UNESCO as the new chair for this year.
Let me continue by stressing the importance of ensuring that the WSIS and MDG review processes are well-integrated with one another, and that substantive issues are well-coordinated, and that appropriate steps are taken at the UNGIS level in this regard.
Concerning WSIS+10, let me take a moment to update you on actions taken following the ITU Council Resolution last year and my subsequent presentation to the 67th session of the General Assembly.
Regarding the WSIS+10 Overall Review, the 67th session resolved that the modalities for the review process will be considered by the end of this year.
In parallel with this, preliminary steps have already been taken in order to ensure the effective organization of the High Level Event on the Overall Review; this will be held in conjunction with the ITU’s World Telecommunication Development Conference, WTDC-14 – and Egypt has kindly offered to host both events.
Over the coming months, we will collect regional views on the implementation of the WSIS outcomes, holding Regional Development Forums back-to-back with the six WTDC Regional Preparatory Meetings; indeed the first regional meeting for the CIS countries was held just last week in Moldova, and concluded with a series of highly-relevant proposals for the review process.
During this year’s WSIS Forum, being held in Geneva from 13 to 17 May, the following WSIS+10 visioning components have been planned, and I encourage the UNGIS members to participate actively in these sessions.
- Two WSIS+10 plenary sessions;
- Two WSIS+10 Power Brunches;
- A ministerial round table; and
- A WSIS+10 Visioning Gala Dinner.
Next year, the 2014 WSIS Forum will be held in parallel with the High Level Event on WSIS+10.
Ahead of this, I will provide a report to the 68th session of the General Assembly on all activities related to the WSIS+10 Overall Review, and I will also provide a status report on the preparations towards the WSIS+10 High Level Event in 2014.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me conclude my opening remarks by highlighting two other important events coming up later this year.
The first is the Global Youth Summit, which will be hosted in Costa Rica under the patronage of President Laura Chinchilla, the Patron of ITU's Child Online Protection initiative.
The summit, taking place in early September, will bring young people together to create solutions for social good, enabled through widespread access to ICTs – and I look forward to seeing strong participation in the event from all WSIS stakeholders.
The second is the ITU Connect Asia Pacific Summit, which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in November, at the same time as this year’s ITU Telecom World event.
ITU Connect Asia Pacific will be a continuation of the series of regional ITU Connect Summits which started with ITU Connect Africa in 2007, and which has continued with ITU Connect CIS, ITU Connect Arab States and ITU Connect Americas over the past years.
The ITU Connect Summits mobilize human, financial and technical resources for the implementation of the connectivity targets of WSIS and the Regional Initiatives adopted by Member States at WTDC, and let me therefore strongly encourage you all to strongly support this Summit.