Speech from Mr Houlin Zhao, ITU Deputy Secretary-General

Summit of Mediterranean Towns & Local Authorities
Opening Session

Malaga, Spain
3 October 2008

Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me begin by thanking you for your kind invitation to participate in this important meeting, and to applaud your initiative in bringing us together to tackle ICT development issues at the city and community level across the Mediterranean region.

It is a great pleasure to join you here in Malaga, a city that has graciously hosted a number of key ITU events, including our Malaga-Torremolinos Plenipotentiary Conference in 1973, the 8th Plenary Assembly of the former CCITT in 1984 and the World Administrative Radio Conference in 1992.

The UN World Summit for the Information Society, hosted by ITU in 2003 and 2005, highlighted the importance of ICTs to the economic development of every country and every community.

Many developing countries are now transforming their ICT markets at a rapid rate, thanks to the advent of lower cost technologies and a new influx of investment.

I believe we are riding a new wave of opportunity. Our task today is to agree on the policy frameworks and shared approaches that will help us seize this opportunity, for the benefit of all.

I’d therefore like to add my wish for a very fruitful meeting, and I trust we will find a little time, too, to enjoy the charms of this most beautiful city.
Thank you.