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ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 set to open in Geneva, 5-9 October

High-level Forum will address global financial crisis at key ICT showcase

Geneva, 12 February 2009 — ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 is on track to open its doors 5-9 October at PALEXPO in Geneva, Switzerland. With the world in the grip of an unprecedented financial crisis and economic slowdown, ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 remains a unique networking platform for the ICT industry as well as top-level policy-makers and regulators to address the issues at hand and seek a way forward.

As a UN Specialized Agency and the leading intergovernmental body dealing with information and communication technologies (ICT), ITU is well-placed to create a brainstorming forum at the highest level. Heads of State and Government, Ministers, regulators and industry leaders are expected to seek solutions to inject new vigour in the ICT sector, which has been the powerhouse of economic growth worldwide. The ICT sector continues to be seen as the catalyst to stimulate growth in the other sectors as well.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will be attending ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009, has called for governments and industry not to lose sight of the global challenges of our times — meeting the development goals, mitigating climate change, building a green economy — while putting in place national stimulus packages. ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said that the ICT industry and governments must continue to invest in infrastructure and the roll out of cost-effective services as a means to stabilize the sector.

High-level networking platform

"Business is anything but usual in these turbulent times," Dr Touré said. "ITU is deeply concerned by the impact of the financial crisis on its Members and the ICT industry. But we have to appreciate the realities and adjust dynamically to achieve the new demands. ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 is an opportunity for all stakeholders to create the plank for investment and growth. I have therefore invited Heads of State and Government to discuss the situation with leading industry CEOs in an open Forum. I expect this event to make significant inputs for the ICT industry in 2009 and beyond."

ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 will provide the venue for a strategic dialogue between industry and government to discuss the key elements of investment in communications infrastructure and the new and changing roles of both industry and government. It will offer an opportunity to Connect Minds by focusing on the impact of the financial crisis. And it will build crossover synergies between governments, policy-makers and industry leaders overseeing the broader objectives of achieving an economic turn around, on the one hand, and the commercial ICT showcase — a one-stop shop for a broad cross-section of state-of-the-art products, applications and services, on the other.

ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 will feature a dynamic and truly global Exhibition that will showcase leading edge technologies and applications. However, with several companies experiencing difficulties, some exhibitors have shied away from participating at trade shows this year. This is true not only for the ICT industry, but across all segments of the world economy. In refocusing ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 to adjust strategically to the current situation, ITU has called upon governments to intervene. As part of stimulus packages being unveiled globally, a number of national pavilions will provide the platform for the ICT industry from around the world to participate in ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009, bringing a new flavour to this venerable ICT showcase. Alongside, thematic pavilions will explore the ICT applications and key themes central to our global wellbeing: health, education and climate change.

ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009: a unique ICT showcase

ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 is, in many ways, a unique event within the ICT industry:

  • It encompasses the full reach of the ICT industry (mobile to satellite, broadband to NGN and more)
  • It is vendor-neutral and not-for-profit
  • It benefits from ITU’s unique drawing power and track record in convening leaders from across the entire ICT sector and political spectrum
  • The VIP programme builds a global community of the world’s most outstanding industry leaders and decision-makers from stakeholders around the world aimed at social networking, fostering new partnerships and seeking practical solutions and responses to rebuild the economy

In the run up to ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009, ITU will be engaging with industry and policy-makers at other ICT events, such as the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 16-19 February 2009, where the Secretary-General will launch a Report on the economic downturn: "Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry". The ITU World Telecommunication Policy Forum in Lisbon, 21-24 April 2009, will hold a high-level Strategic Dialogue to address the issues. ITU will leverage its unique power and track record as a UN agency to make ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 an event that will be critical for the advancement of ICTs.

For more information, please visit or contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information

Tel: +41 22 730 5046
Mobile: +41 79 249 4861

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Updated : 2009-02-12