Broadband Commission For Digital Development : Closing Remarks
23 March 2014, Dublin, Ireland
Ladies and gentlemen,
Once again, I am stunned by the passion and energy you all show for broadband – what can I say?
This was our ninth meeting, and for the ninth time in a row it has been a remarkable day, and I am still digesting your rich ideas and insights.
The presence of President Kagame is always appreciated; you show us what leadership really means.
It has been a huge honour to have An-Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, with us here this afternoon, as well as having the Minister, Pat Rabbitte, hosting dinner last night at Dublin Castle – and what a wonderful dinner that was, along with the incredible spectacle of Riverdance.
So thank you Denis O’Brien for everything you have done to make this meeting a real triumph. You made us so welcome here at the Shelbourne, and gave us a perfect venue for our meeting. You even brought us some sunshine too!
Let’s have a round of applause for Denis!
And while we’re talking about Denis, I would like to pick up on something he said earlier, about producing regular league tables and giving recognition to countries that do particularly well.
We are very much in favour of this approach, and we will be producing league tables in the State of Broadband report being published in September, to coincide with our next meeting in New York.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We have covered a lot of ground in today’s meeting, and as always the Commission has provided very fertile ground for fresh discussions, new insights, and innovative approaches – and some provocative and challenging interventions which are always welcome.
One of the key priorities of this ninth meeting has been to address many different funding and investment issues, and we have heard some excellent presentations and comments from the floor, as well as from our chair, our co-chairs, and our host.
Our note takers have captured all of this, and will make sure this rich content contributes to the wider debate, and informs the State of Broadband 2014 report.
I am very pleased to note that it is not just broadband that matters: the Broadband Commission matters too.
Together, we have succeeded in building real momentum around our message :
- That broadband can help achieve the MDGs;
- And that broadband will underpin progress in every field of human endeavour as we move forward.
Now we need to take an even bigger step, and make sure that broadband is properly recognized – and prioritized – in the post-2015 development agenda. We need to look ahead to 2030.
In her video message, Amina Mohammed reminded us that:
- “Ours is the first generation with the resources and know-how to end extreme poverty and put our planet on a sustainable development course before it is too late”.
That’s an exciting challenge.
And let’s face it, when we talk about resources and know-how, we have to be talking about ICTs, and we have to be talking about leveraging the power of ICTs in every aspect of sustainable development – including empowering women.
So let’s do it – let’s work to leverage broadband to end extreme poverty and put our planet on a sustainable development course!
Ladies and gentlemen,
As always, it has been a pleasure to welcome you all, and I look forward to our next meeting together at the Yale Club in New York City on Sunday 21 September.
I would like to call on you to support the remainder of the Commission's work through to 2015.
The contributions which have already been made have been enormously appreciated – but we do need your continuing financial support.
Finally, let me extend a special thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to support us and to make this meeting a success.
Let’s give a special thank you :
- To Denis O’Brien’s team, and in particular Sinead and Louise – you have been amazing!
- To the hotel staff here at the Shelbourne – you are just fantastic.
- And to the Broadband Commission secretariat – both here in Dublin and back home in Geneva.
- Thank you all.
- This year, in celebrating the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on 17 May, we will be awarding President Kagame and Carlos Slim as laureates for their work in broadband development.
As we close this meeting, let me encourage our Commissioners, and our Focal Points, and our Special Guests to go out and continue the great advocacy work – especially concerning the post-2015 development goals.
We are dreaming big and we are building something important here – with energy, passion and commitment.
So let’s keep up the momentum – and see you all in New York!