Speech from Mr Houlin Zhao, ITU
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the ITU Secretary-General, Dr. Touré, is my
pleasure to welcome you here in Geneva and to the ITU for this first meeting of
the Informal Expert Group of the WTPF.
As you probably know, this is the 4th World Telecommunication Policy Forum
organized by ITU. This forum has a well established history of successfully
promoting discussion of emerging policy issues. We want to make sure that we
keep up that tradition.
As you may know the Policy Forum is very different from usual ITU meetings
In previous Forums, this has led us to adopt forward looking opinions on new issues such as Trade in Telecommunication and IP Telephony.
Usually, however, we only have to focus on a single theme. For next year’s forum, we have quite a challenging task ahead of us, as – at the request of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference – we have not one, but four themes:
While these themes are not really new and quite broad in scope, it will be
this group’s task to assist the Secretary-General in building a successful WTPF.
The primary focus for today is to discuss the second draft of the Secretary
Genera’s report, as it will form the basis for the forum. I’d like to thank all
of you at this point for the valuable contributions and comments you have
already made to this report.
There should also be time for some preliminary discussions on the Information
session as well as the Forum’s programme.
In terms of the set-up, I would like to encourage you to propose ways to make
this next WTPF as attractive as possible on the content side as much as on its
format. Let’s try to avoid the temptation to revert to a drafting Forum or a
forum with lengthy speeches only.
Finally, on behalf of the Secretary General, I would like to propose that Mr.
Mario Franco from Portugal takes the chairmanship of the Expert Group. Mr.
Franco is a senior adviser on telecommunication matters to the Ministry for
Public Works, transports and Communications. He has also coordinated the
Telecommunication related initiatives during the Portuguese EU Presidency. I am
sure he will be extremely capable in guiding the work of the Informal Expert
I hope that this nomination meets with approval from all of you.
I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that Portugal has
generously offered to host WTPF in Lisbon from 20 to 24 April 2009. The
consultation of ITU Council Member States is under way and I would like to
recall that Members are invited to respond to this consultation by 30 June 2008.
Before passing this meeting on to Mr. Franco, I would like to say how much I
am looking forward to engaging in some stimulating discussion and innovative
thinking. I am certain that we will have a dynamic and fruitful WTPF-09.
I wish you a successful meeting