Speech from Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General
ICT Exploratorium - Signing Ceremony Speech

8 November 2009, United Arab Emirates

Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great privilege to be with you here today – to honour your commitment to the ICT Exploratorium, and to welcome you as the ICT Exploratorium’s Founding Partners.

As we all know, ICTs are not just about technologies any more – they are closely linked with every aspect of our daily lives.

This is why ITU – as the unique body dealing with ICT issues from a global perspective – has been committed to establishing an ICT Exploratorium. And why we are so pleased to accept the United Arab Emirates’ vital contribution.

With your help, we expect to open the ICT Exploratorium next year, with the aim of showing visitors the past, present and future of ICTs. This will also serve to raise the profile and visibility of ITU, its Membership, and of course its Founding Partners, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA).

Since a working model of the telegraph was first demonstrated nearly 170 years ago, telecommunications have transformed our lives.

By enabling people in different places or different countries to communicate with each other, telecommunications have unlocked human potential, helped facilitate greater understanding and resulted in the ‘death of distance’.

We therefore intend to create the Exploratorium in three sections: the past, the present and the future.

The first section will recount the story of ICTs, introducing key inventions, significant figures and historical events in chronological order. Demonstrations will help visitors understand how the development of ICTs and ICT services have influenced world history – and vice versa.

The second section will provide useful information about how closely ICTs and people’s daily lives are connected, and the importance of ITU’s core activities, through dynamic and interactive exhibitions.

This section will also provide information on how the main technologies work with the help of easy-to understand and interactive exhibition tools.

And the third section is a space where visitors can experience the future. Cutting-edge technologies and new services will be introduced and demonstrated, and visitors can interact with all the exhibits.

As the Founding Partners for the ICTE, UAE and TRA will of course benefit from unique involvement with the Exploratorium, and will be strongly represented in the ICTE itself and associated publicity materials.

Because without you, none of this would be possible.

So on behalf of ITU and our extended membership, let me thank you once again – not just for your extraordinary generosity, but also for your continuing faith in ITU and our work.

Thank you.