Your Excellency, Mr. Prime Minister,
Minister Mario Lino,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to address you at the end of this challenging,
but very successful event – an event which I believe has, for
all of us, far exceeded our expectations.
I hope you shared my appreciation of the pioneering Strategic
Dialogue, where industry leaders, thinkers and policy-makers
shared with us their many insights about the current challenges
we face in promoting ICT growth and development.
The Strategic Dialogue acknowledged the vital role of ICTs in
leading the world out of crisis, and kickstarting economic
growth and recovery. Repeated calls were made for a “Digital
Marshall Plan”, a call that was first made at Kigali in October
2007. Now, however, I think there is widespread recognition of
the vital role investments in ICTs can play in reigniting
economic growth and creating jobs.
During this Forum, we have been honoured to welcome over 850
delegates representing 118 Member States, 44 sector members, 5
United Nations entities, as well as 75 members of the public.
High-level participation by VIPs reached unprecedented levels –
including a record number of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and
heads of regulators.
We have worked together, with respect and harmony, to identify
innovative ways forward on the tough issues on this year’s
In adopting the Chairman’s report, the WTPF this week has
endorsed the six opinions which will contribute to shaping
global ICT policies, and regulatory and standardization efforts
worldwide, as well as ITU’s own work for the coming year – and
Ladies and Gentlemen,
ICTs have the power to accelerate progress towards the
achievement of all MDGs. That is one of the reasons why the
understanding and common ground we’ve staked out during this
Forum is so important, and why ITU continues to accord such a
high priority to ongoing ICT development.
In our follow up to the World Summit on the Information Society,
ITU is attaching more emphasis than ever to implementation,
project initiation, and multi-stakeholder involvement. This
year, we are pleased to launch with our UN partners a new format
for the annual WSIS action line meetings - the WSIS Forum, the
first of which will take place next month.
The WSIS Forum 2009 will feature several high-level panels,
including one on the financial crisis, so let me take this
opportunity of inviting you all to join us in Geneva from 18 to
The WSIS Forum this year coincides with the celebration of World
Telecommunication and Information Society Day. This year, the
theme is ‘Protecting Children in Cyberspace’, which marks the
start of a year-long campaign to make the Internet safer for our
most valuable asset, our children.
I wish to acknowledge the sincere efforts of Japan and Serbia in
this field, who informed us this week that they have both
already kicked off national programmes which complement ITU’s
Child Online Protection initiative.
In this respect, I would be delighted if the Portuguese
Government could bring their exciting initiative on the Magellan
computers to Geneva next month, to show us all what they have
And, whilst I am extending invitations, let me also encourage
you to come to this year’s ITU Telecom World event, taking place
in Geneva from 5 to 9 October. I believe that this crisis can
only be overcome if government works in close partnership with
the private sector to recreate an environment for investment.
And Geneva in October is the place to do it!
In concluding, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the
six WTPF Vice-Chairs and the Chairmen and Vice-chairmen of the
Working Groups, who have done so much to guide our work here.
I would like to extend very special thanks to Mr. Mario Franco
for his vision and his dedication to the WTPF and, in
particular, his excellent chairmanship of the Informal Experts
Mr. Chairman, you have done an outstanding job in every way.
It is my greatest pleasure to award you the ITU Silver medal in
recognition of your brilliant handling of this meeting.
I also wish to thank the whole Portuguese team – and in
particular ANACOM – without whom the Forum might never have
happened, and of course the ITU here in Lisbon and alsi in
Geneva staff who put in a huge collective effort to ensure the
lasting success of this Forum. I would like to thank the
interpreters and of course the captioners. Who worked wit us
virtually from the US. Cindy and Marekay if you are
listening we thank you. This was the first WTPF we have
ever captioned and I would like to thank my good friend Andrea
Saks as this was her idea.
Finally, let me close by thanking you all for your spirit of
cooperation and your dedication, and by wishing you a safe
Thank you - Muito obrigado!