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Statement by Dr. Plamen Vatchkov, Chairman, State Agency for Information Technology and Communications


Mr. Chairman,
Dr. Touré,
Ladies and gentlemen,

At the outset, allow me to thank the Portuguese government, the co-organisers from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, the sponsoring companies and the ITU for convening this high-level forum where we could exchange views on changes in the telecommunication sector which will shape the new converged landscape of the information and communication technologies onwards. Next, I would like to congratulate Dr. Touré personally and those of you who have contributed actively to the elaboration of this valuable paper and the six draft opinions.

In the light of Decision 9 (Antalya, 2006), the themes considered in the report reaffirm the commitment of the Union to connect the world by harmonization of various national, regional and international visions. In general, the report unfolds a profound understanding of telecommunication trends and arising needs of our contemporary world. However, some areas such as capacity-building regarding NGNs and IPv6, standards, confidence and security, interconnection or even intellectual property rights in the use of ICTs would necessitate deeper discussion and hard work ahead.

Nowadays, overcoming the digital disparities between states developing at different pace could be carried out mainly due to the convergence of technology and services. Opportunities provided by them could intensify positive phenomena and processes of our society by offering various content corresponding to present demands, thus contributing to the achievement of key goals such as affordability; transparency, accessibility and sustainability for a higher quality of life.

Undoubtedly, NGNs are the modern engine for economic development. The report reflects both the policy and regulatory issues concerning NGNs. It incorporates most of the aspects of NGNs starting from the concept itself, anticipated benefits and ending up on the technological uncertainties. Despite the boosting approach in the draft opinion on NGNs, some concerns regarding the legal certainty, regulatory predictability and planning reliability are still outstanding and need further clarification.

Irrespective of the global climate of crisis, the Forum opinions on Internet-related public policy matters should primarily encourage all stakeholders – governments, businesses and citizens to grasp the opportunities provided by the Internet and the converged environment with both hands and pursue them with dedication and optimism.

Challenges of the economy could not restrict the needs of our society; on the contrary, impediments set by them would reinforce aspirations for recovery through the use of ubiquitous ICT. Therefore, the emerging telecommunication policy and regulatory issues draw the attention to planetary emergencies such as clime change, cyber-insecurity, and threats for children online, particularly emphasizing on the role of ICTs for combating them. Definitely, peace in cyber space requires strong international co-operation and vigorous participation in the Global Cybersecurity Agenda’s activities.

Another issue of the report and the respective draft opinion addresses the review of the International Telecommunication Regulations which is designated to update the general principles with view to the current innovative infusion of the ICT sector. We highly appreciate it.

With a view of the afore-said, Bulgaria generally supports the draft opinions since we deem that they underline the dedication of the ITU to involve actively all stakeholders in the technological evolution by enhancing the collaborative work, especially for deploying new technology and facilitating the adoption of IPv6 or benefiting from a more “green” world.

I would like to conclude my remarks by expressing my conviction that the Forum will be characterized by robust discussions crystallising into fruitful opinions on the current ICT developments to the welfare of the ITU membership. So, I wish all of us successful mutual work!

Thank you!