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Editorial
Out of Guadalajara — boldness and vision
Dr Hamadoun Touré
photo credit: ITU/V. Martin
Dr Hamadoun I. Touré
ITU Secretary-General

ITU was deeply honoured to have Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa open our 18th Plenipotentiary Conference, held in Guadalajara, the “Pearl of the West” and one of the country’s foremost cultural centres. We greatly appreciate his support. We also thank the Governor of the State of Jalisco, Emilio González Márquez, for the wonderful hospitality shown to ITU and to our membership. Jalisco is famous as Mexico’s Silicon Valley. It is home to many global companies in information and communication technologies (ICT), and is therefore the perfect venue for ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference.

It is with great pleasure that I write to you all, following my re-election in Guadalajara for a second four-year term as ITU Secretary-General. I thank our Member States, once again, for placing their confi- dence in me, and I feel deeply moved that they have chosen to allow me to lead the Union for the next four years.

Along with 192 Member States, ITU’s membership includes around 700 private-sector companies and Associates, as well as national, regional and international bodies that have an interest in information and communication technologies (ICT). I am pleased to announce that Timor-Leste is the Union’s 192nd Member State, effective from 24 August 2010, and will participate for the first time in the Plenipotentiary Conference.

Since I took office, at the beginning of 2007, the number of mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide has almost doubled — to reach an extraordinary five billion subscriptions. The number of Internet users has also come close to doubling in the same period, so that today around two billion people have access to the Internet. And by the end of the year we expect there to be 900 million mobile broadband subscriptions.

The success we have achieved over the past four years is a credit to all our members and to ITU staff. What we have accomplished is important, but what truly matters now is how effectively we can work together to achieve our compelling and critical objectives in the next four years. These include:

  • Expanding ICT and broadband infrastructure to all citizens, especially those living in the most challenging places (Small Island Developing States, landlocked countries).

  • A stable, flexible spectrum regime that can support the technical and commercial dynamism of this amazing sector.

  • Efficient and collaborative standards leadership promoting worldwide connectivity and accessibility, and the ability to rapidly adapt to innovation and evolving public and consumer needs.

  • A membership empowered by the latest information and best practices, with continued updating of our skills.

  • A strong recognition that young people and women matter — a lot — and must be central to our agenda.

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of the work undertaken in Guadalajara. The whole future of the ICT sector — which now influences every other business sector worldwide, and touches the lives of almost everyone on the planet — depends on our Member States being bold and being visionary. It depends on agreements being reached that will provide a sound platform not just for the next four years, but for the decade ahead.

 

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