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A productive 2009
Dr Hamadoun Touré
photo credit: ITU/J.M. Ferré
Dr Hamadoun I. Touré
ITU Secretary-General

It has been a highly productive year at ITU. Our first notable event was the World Telecommunication Policy Forum, held in Lisbon, Portugal, in April. It adopted the Lisbon Consensus on Internet-related public policy matters; the implications of next-generation networks and broadband Internet access; information and communication technologies (ICT) and the environment; collaboration on cybersecurity; capacity building to support adoption of IPv6, and reviewing the International Telecommunication Regulations.

These issues go to the heart of ITU’s mandate, and during 2009 we have continued working to meet the Union’s strategic goals. I am delighted that we have succeeded in bringing ITU’s key messages to the top of the international agenda. We have helped to create the clear recognition that ICT are an essential part of the solution to so many of the major challenges that the world faces today.

In May, ITU co-hosted the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum, together with partner United Nations agencies. It coincided with celebrations of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on the theme of “Protecting Children in Cyberspace”, and we were honoured to have Queen Silvia of Sweden as our patron.

Throughout the year, all Sectors of ITU have been busier than ever implementing the wishes of our membership. November, in particular, saw two major events, almost back-to-back. First was the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR), which took place in Beirut, Lebanon on 10–12 November. It was the ninth time that this important meeting had been held and its value was demonstrated by the record number of participants who attended. In addition, on the day before GSR, the successful Global Industry Leaders’ Forum was held at the same venue.

Then, on 26–27 November in Minsk, Belarus, ITU organized the Connect CIS Summit that brought together some 350 participants from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and neighbouring countries, including Heads of State and industry leaders. It was a landmark event in our Connect the World series, which aims to mobilize all the resources needed to connect the unconnected by 2015.

In achieving that goal, along with the other fundamental purposes of ITU, we will work in line with the highest standards and as efficiently as possible — not least because of the need to meet the challenge of climate change. The final month of 2009 is when the United Nations Conference on Climate Change is taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. As part of the ITU team at that vital event, I will do my very best to put forward ITU’s message on the fundamental importance of ICT, now and for the future of the world.


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