عربي  |  中文  |  Español  |  Français  |  Русский
 
 Advanced Search Advanced Search Site map Contact us Print Version
  Home: Office of the Secretary General

 
   
ITU/MII Seminar on Telecom in Transformation - Opportunities and Challenges
Shanghai, China
24 July 2007

Opening Remarks by ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

 

Honourable Mr. JIANG Yaoping, Vice Minister of MII from China,

Honorable, Mr. D. S. Mathur, Secretary of Department of Telecom and Chairman of Telecom Commission from India,

Distinguished guests and speakers,

Ladies and gentlemen,
 
Good Morning,
 
On behalf of ITU, first of all, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the MII, China, for such kind support and trust in ITU, through which I learned it is now the 6th joint event in this context between ITU and MII. I still remember the 2nd seminar held in Dalian where I as Director of BDT attended and was very impressed by the way of attentive involvements and participations by senior officials from all the provinces in China. My cordial thanks are also extended to the government of Shanghai, which is hosting this seminar.
 
This seminar, I found, is very unique since all the senior officials of the MII under the able leadership of Vice-Minister annually gather together to learn, share, and have brain-storming on ways of implementing  telecommunication/ICT strategies and regulations, starting with Interconnection in 2001 followed by Trade, Universal Service & Protection of Consumer Rights, NGN and Internet Development. This year’s theme of “Telecom in Transformation: Opportunities and Challenges” too is very timely and appropriate, as it aims to set the critical strategies that would foster the development or improvement of telecommunications/ICTs while we integrate into an information society.
 
Owing to such strategic and forward looking planning and preparedness by MII/China, I believe, China has made remarkable achievement in its infrastructure or access with increase in its fixed line penetration from 144 million in 2000 to 350 million in 2005, mobile phone from 85 million in 2000 to 393 million in 2005, which would now be even more, and Internet from 22.5 million in 2000 to 111 million in 2005, whilst broadband penetration has increased from 2 million in June 2002 to 77 million in June 2006. Also, almost 100% of universal access to villages has been achieved. I certainly need to learn the secret of success from you all, particularly to share the recipe with the rest of world, which is my main mission with three priorities.
 
The three priorities, which I have set since my election, include: i.e., first, bridge digital divide for the development especially in the interdependent or interconnected information society, as set the goal by the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) to connect the remaining half of the world habitants by 2015. The second priority is to ensure cybersecurity to avoid cyber wars and foster cyber peace. The third priority is emergency communications for disaster prevention and relief, which shares concerns about the climate change and its consequences experienced by many – particularly those countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including China. I am sure that the “access to ICTs” as a human right recognized at the WSIS has been well practiced in China through such a remarkable achievement in a very short period of time.
 
 
My priorities can be well hand-in-hand with the main missions of UN per se composed of three main pillars such as peace and security, development, and human rights, which Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, The Secretary-General of the UN addressed in London on the 11th of July 2007. As some of you may be aware, for the first time in over 140 years’ of ITU history, the Secretary-General of UN has visited ITU Headquarters on the 6th of July 2007, where he addressed the importance of telecommunications and ICTs as a tool for all, especially to meet the Millennium Development Goals, agreed by all the government in the world as a roadmap to a better world by 2015. He has well recognized the important role of ITU to ensure connect the world – especially the half of world habitants that remain to be connected by 2015. That is why the UN is one of our key partners for the Connect Africa Summit to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, 29-30 October 2007, which is one of our prime initiatives starting from Africa this year to the rest of world.
 
Facilitating or assisting development of telecommunications/ICTs in line with the Connect World initiatives is indeed one of three main functions or pillars of ITU, as the WSIS itself has well guided us to build the development-oriented information society. In this regard, the outcomes of the World Telecom Development Conference (WTDC-06) held in Doha last year have been incorporated into the six development programs and regional initiatives with close linkage with the overall outcomes of WSIS and the Plenipotentiary Conference held in Antalya. In particular, five Asia-Pacific Regional Initiatives adopted at the WTDC-06 including  Telecommunication/ICT Policy and regulatory Cooperation, Rural Communications as for Infrastructure Development, and NGN planning, I am sure, will well address and implement the needs of this diverse and dynamic Asia-Pacific region for the development or improvement of telecommunications/ICTs.
 
Dear friends
 
Now, let me turn to the seminar itself. We all know that convergence is real and is here. Though not omnipresent, we now have a reasonable idea of how it would manifest itself in the information society. As the theme of this seminar has well indicated, indeed, the telecommunication sector has undergone and is undergoing technological, policy and business evolution to embrace convergence and transformation. It is a high time to share experiences and lessons from various spectrum of transformation in telecommunications/ICTs – i.e., from overall telecommunication/ICT environment to implications of its technology, regulations and industry. It has also brought in quite a few challenges. These include the tasks of ensuring level playing field, managing content, harmonizing the traditionally different regulatory environments of services, handling existing legacies and maintaining a high level of security.
 
Meeting these challenges, I am sure we all recognize various requirements for enabling policy and regulatory frameworks at the national level as well as sustainable cooperation and harmonization at the international level.  While we are all looking towards the cyber world to build digital bridges and create leap frog developments, unfortunately, there are also being generated opportunities for miscreants to misuse the loop holes in our policies and regulations. At the national level, there are requirements to harmonize with the international environment and ensure implementation, while at the international level co-operation and harmonization need to be strengthened to take on such issues as Cybercrime or Cybersecurity. A number of such initiatives have been undertaken to curtail SPAM. Here, dear prominent experts and friends, I call upon each one of us to use the momentum gathered to take on Cybercrime in order to ensure Cybersecurity for peace in the cyber space or information society.
 
On the positive side, several successful pilots are now getting transformed into national policies such as “u-Japan” and “u- Korea” especially in this region leading to ensure connectivity, security as well as new generation networks and applications. These should be backed by strong public private partnerships (PPP) and policy guidance. I am sure a lot of such initiatives will be discussed in this seminar.
 
The Asia-Pacific Regional Initiatives adopted at the WTDC-06, which we are committed to implement, have well incorporated the theme of this seminar – i.e., looking at telecommunication/ICT policy and regulatory implications in the new environment of next generation network or Internet to provide the world with secure cyber space, with peace and human rights.
 
Taking this opportunity, I should also express my gratitude to the Administrations of China as well as distinguished guests from Administrations of Australia, India, Singapore, and United Kingdom and industries as well as partner organizations like EU, NTT, GSMA, REDtone, and Communication Research Centre in Canada. I thank you for your kind support and participation at this seminar through sharing your valuable experiences and knowledge on ways in which telecommunication/ICT sector is being transformed towards the information society.
 
In fact, this seminar is a very valuable forum where we not only have participants from China but also speakers from various countries and regions who are the very leaders in their own organizations and/or countries and have contributed a great deal to the development or transformation of telecommunications – now converged ICT – sector.  
 
In China, where the speed and number of telecommunication growth  amaze people worldwide, it is an opportune moment for building and improvising on means to take on these challenges and opportunities in the interdependent information society for the betterment of human being as well as multi-stakeholders. In the next two days, I am sure we would greatly benefit from the interactions with such a distinguished panel of experts and participants.. 
 
Wishing this seminar to be another success, I do thank you very much for your kind attention and participation.

 

 

 

 

 

Top -  Feedback -  Contact Us -  Copyright © ITU 2014 All Rights Reserved
Contact for this page: External Affairs and Corporate Communication Division
Updated: 2014-04-21