Mohamed Nasser Al-Ghanim, WCIT-12 Chairman
First Plenary of World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 3 December 2012
In the name of God the Merciful and the Compassionate
Your Excellency, Dr Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Ladies and gentlemen
Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the International Telecommunication Union and its Secretary-General and to representatives of the Member States for the precious trust you have shown in me to lead the work of the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications.
Ladies and gentlemen,
WCIT occupies a special place in the ICT industry, on account of the significant and indeed radical developments and changes witnessed by the industry during the past two decades, which have not been matched by any changes in the International Telecommunication Regulations that have governed the industry at the global level since they were signed in 1988 at the conference in Melbourne, Australia. In the meantime, the ICT sector has developed immensely, undergoing the transition from voice to video and data, and from fixed to mobile, and relying much more on infrastructure and applications that operate on the basis of Internet protocols. Whence the need to update and develop the regulations to reflect this evolution.
It should be noted that the ITRs lay down the general principles governing international telecommunications and their operation, and facilitate interconnection and interoperability globally. They also constitute the mainstays of balanced development and efficient operation of the technical facilities which, as everyone knows, are so important for the development of societies on many levels - economic, knowledge, cultural, social, to name but a few.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The topics to be discussed at this conference are both extremely important and highly sensitive, and require us to cooperate fully to forge a compromise in the common interest of all countries of the world. Accordingly, I ask you to cooperate with me on the basis of your vast experience in this field and through your discussions and your advice which will be so necessary to me as I chair this conference. Let it be our common goal, through our joint efforts, to ensure the success of this conference, which, the fruit of significant and obvious efforts, is being held many years after the signing of the ITRs long back in 1988.
The conference will discuss important topics in a limited and short time. It thus calls for concerted efforts with unanimous commitment to the following principles in order to achieve the desired goals within the required time-frame:
- optimal use of time
- work to reach consensual decisions that satisfy all parties
- sincere efforts to overcome outstanding issues
- flexibility and acceptance of the opinions of others.
For my part, l will always be keen to be present with you so as to follow the course of the discussions and provide you with all the support you need to achieve what we are all striving for, namely the success of the conference.
I wish success to all, and remain confident that our joint efforts and close cooperation will produce a result that benefits everyone.
Thank you, and may peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.