Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Asia-Pacific Region.
On behalf of the Secretary-General of the ITU, I would like to thank Malaysia
for hosting this meeting and for the efforts they have made in letting us feel
comfortable and welcome here today.
As we are all aware, ITU’s main mission is to enable evolution of
telecommunications and information networks around the world, so that
everywhere, people can actively participate in the global information society.
That is why ITU took the leading role in the organization of the key event of
this decade - the World Summit on the Information Society held in two phases -
in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005. The Summit was an important landmark in the
global effort to eradicate poverty and to achieve the UN Millennium Development
Goals (MDG) by 2015. Since the Tunis Phase of WSIS, much progress has been made.
A report on the progress of implementation of Action Lines for which ITU is the
main facilitator will be made in this meeting.
Since WTDC-06 in Doha, ITU has held several important conferences, including
PP-06, RA-07 and WRC-07, WTSA-08, and very recently the World Telecommunication
Policy Forum 09.
In the recent and coming years, ITU has and will be taking the lead in many
areas: ensuring security in cyberspace, the efficient use of radio-frequency
spectrum and satellite orbits, promoting appropriate strategies and policies,
encouraging infrastructure development to bridge the digital divide, the use of
ICTs to mitigate climate change and the establishment of workable standards to
provide global telecommunications for everyone, including the disabled and
With the unprecedented financial crisis that has shaken the global economic
system to its foundations, ITU is deeply concerned by the potential impact on
its Member States and Sector Members. An ITU Report on Confronting the Crisis:
Its Impact on the ICT Industry was also commissioned early this year providing
informed analysis on the future outlook for the industry and exploring how the
financial crisis may impact the ICT industry. Last month, at the World
Telecommunication Policy Forum held in Lisbon, Portugal, a Special High-Level
Strategic Dialogue with the theme: Confronting the Crisis brought together
leaders from government and industry to address the problems facing vendors,
operators and governments. The event helped to formulate proactive strategies to
help the ICT sector weather the storm, as well as leveraging the power of ICTs
to accelerate economic recovery in other sectors. I invite you all to take a
look at this Report as well as the full report from the Special High-Level
Strategic Dialogue at WTPF on our ITU website.
The WTPF welcomed around 850 delegates from 116 Member States, 44 Sector
Members, 5 UN agencies as well as members of the public. 20 Ministers and
10 Vice-Ministers were present. The Prime Minister of Portugal attended
the closing session. Among other results, there are six opinions agreed,
including inernet-related public policy matters, the advent of NGN and broadband
access, ICT and environment, strategies for confidence and security in the use
of ICTs, support for the adoption of IPv6 and International Telecommunication
Regulations (ITRs). The conference approved the “Lisbon consensus”,
recognizing the importance of ICT, calling on global cooperation to implement
those six opinions.
Two years ago – on 17 May 2007, to be precise, ITU as facilitator of WSIS Action
Line C5 on Building Confidence and Security in the use of ICTs launched the
Global Cybersecurity Agenda, or GCA. Designed as an international framework for
cooperation and response, the GCA focuses on building partnership and
collaboration between all relevant parties in the fight against cybercrime.
Through the transition that took place from strategy to implementation, GCA has
positioned itself as the leading framework to deliver concrete solutions in our
collective efforts to reduce cyber-threats at the global level.
I am therefore pleased to announce that ITU’s GCA is being hosted by the
International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) whose
world class facilities were inaugurated in Cyberjaya in March this year.
Through the ITU Development Sector which is responsible for implementation, some
20 countries have expressed the desire to take part in the first phase of its
deployment – with a target of 50 planned for the next 12 months. I am
happy to learn that delegates will have the opportunity to visit the facilities
after the closing of RPM on Thursday, 7 May 2009.
As the Acting Manager of ITU TELECOM, I take this opportunity to inform you that
ITU will be holding TELECOM World in October this year in Geneva.
The underlying theme of the event is Open Networks – Connected Minds, this is
not just a reference to technical innovation, but also an opportunity to focus
on the modes of dialogue that bring peoples of the world together. The
TELECOM forum will focus on the role of the ICT industry for global recovery and
its sustainable development, especially in delivering new investment and
employment opportunities. During the preparation of this TELECOM, I have
seen a more and more active role shown by our ASP region. The industry and
the national pavilions organized by members of the region now form an important
part of the Event which, in my opinion, corresponds to the ever increasing role
this region has in the global family. I very much hope that we will see you in
Geneva for TELECOM World.
Thank you for your attention and I wish you well with your discussions over the
next three days.