Thank you Mr. Chairman.
His Excellency, Mr. Secretary General of the ITU,
Your Excellencies, Ministers and Vice-Ministers,
Distinguished Delegates and Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to congratulate ITU for the holding of another World
Telecommunication Policy Forum, and to express gratitude for the presence of all
of you here in Lisbon and also to reiterate our welcome already addressed by
Minister Mário Lino.
Concerning the matters that brought us all to this Forum, which are detailed in
the Report of the Secretary General to this meeting and in its annexed draft
opinions, I would like to underline the following:
The necessity of considering the challenges posed by convergence, with a view to
take out the best benefits from it and to go round the existing risks. We are
conscious that “convergence” may be the word that opens every door but it can
also hide several problems.
If, on the one hand, we should achieve to take out the benefits brought by
convergence, namely, the promotion of investment and the creation of qualified
employment, the innovation and the provision of new services that can improve
people’s quality of life; but on the other hand, we should pay attention to the
potential risks associated to convergence. In particular, attention should be
given to its effect on companies as, for instance, the fusion that arises from
convergence itself, both at service and network level, imposes a serious
challenge in the competition field as it creates the danger of maintaining or
recreating monopolies. This is why it is important to create conditions either
to promote the entry of new players, either to maintain, and even to reinforce,
those who have entered and are trying to affirm themselves.
Also the new scenario created by convergence and Internet requires a bigger
effort in the regulatory field, so it is essential to achieve an effective
articulation between communications and contents, as well as to foster
establishing an articulated, or even integrated, regulatory environment for
communications and contents.
Relating to the Internet-related public policy matters, we consider particularly
important that ITU continues to play the role given to it by the WSIS, taking
advantage of the level of knowledge of the organization, as well as of the broad
participation within the ITU.
In what concerns the implementation of Next Generation Networks, it is important
to underline the relevance of ITU’s contribution, namely, via the development of
recommendations that guaranty the interoperability of systems and the
development of infrastructures, as well as, relating to regulation, through the
identification of best practices.
These best practices could enable a broad implementation, in order to avoid a
fragmented approach that could restrict the development and interoperability of
the networks, in an, always desirable, competitive environment.
It is our understanding that the guaranty of progression in what concerns
convergence, through the implementation of NGNs, will promote the creation of a
social and economic broadband ecosystem.
Concerning the ICTs contribution towards the reduction of climate change impact,
it is our view that ITU, in cooperation with other international entities, can
give an important contribute to the promotion of energetic efficiency through
the endogenization of the ICTs. Therefore, we consider essential that
international cooperation reinforcement mechanisms are created, as well as to
motivate ITU to play a role in ICTs promotion and development as an instrument
that can contribute for enviromental protection. This necessarily implies an
effort of investigation and innovation inside ICTs themselves, in a way that
they can be increasingly efficient both at energetic and environmental levels.
Relating to the cibersecurity issue, we believe this is one of the themes that
do deserve a careful look by all of us; it is urgent to create
international cooperation reinforcement mechanisms and also to ensure that the
security systems comply with the privacy principles and at the same time offer
appropriate trust levels. However, beforehand, the need for the implementation
of an effective security systems policy is urgent and unquestionable but it can
not put at risk the development of the communications sector.
To conclude, I would like to address the debate related with the International
Telecommunications Regulations. As it is a complex question, it is important to
guaranty that the work in the several ITU groups and fora are complementary and,
at the same time, we should avoid having a duplication of work. Consequently, in
the context of this forum, we deem particularly relevant the identification and
consideration of emerging issues that should be considered in the context of the
preparation of a World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).
In conclusion, we consider that the documents put forward to debate in this
forum are a balanced and positive result of the excellent work and close
collaboration between ITU and its members that participated in the preparation
of the WTPF-09, trying to deepen common paths without compromising, by the
contrary promoting, the specificities of each one, We, therefore, appeal to the
continuation of the spirit of consensus and cooperation that have characterized
the Forum’s preparatory work, through the rest of the week. As Keynes used to
say: “Acting alone results in self fulfiling misery. Acting together can
result in a fulfiling recovery.” From our side, we will endeavour all efforts to
facilitate the work of the WTPF and to achieve results positive to all.
Thank you very much.