CLOSING REMARKS BY Mr YOSHIO UTSUMI
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to see the successful conclusion of this 17th
Plenipotentiary Conference of the ITU. Although this Plenipotentiary
Conference was only held over three weeks, it seems as if we have completed
enough work for six weeks! Delegations and staff alike have been working
long hours and we all deserve a long rest; so I can promise that my speech
will be brief.
First of all, I would like to thank our hosts, the Turkish
Administration, and the local staff, whose ever-smiling faces have
brightened the mood of the conference. I would particularly like to commend
the generous hospitality of our hosts and their flexible approach to solving
Second I would like to thank the chairs and vice-chairs of the Plenary
and of all the Committees, Working Groups and Drafting Groups. A conference
like this would be impossible without the willing and able participation of
many individuals, and everyone has contributed to this successful outcome in
different ways, especially Mr. Arasteh, Mr Riehl and Mr. Agarwal.
I would particularly like to thank our wonderful chairman of Plenary, Mr
Tanju Cataltepe. It has been a pleasure to work alongside him, both during
the preparations and at the Conference itself. I have to say that, after the
last three weeks, his youthful looks may have faded a little! But I am sure
that if he is “older” now, then he is also “wiser”, having benefited from
the experience of the many distinguished delegates here.
As we have struggled to understand the true meanings of many new terms –
like ICTs, information society, internet resources, network security and so
on – we cannot have failed to see how the industry that we serve is
Over the last eight years that I have served as Secretary-General, we
have seen a transformation, and ITU has played a key role. One mark of this
change is that virtually every single Resolution and Decision emerging from
this conference mentions the outcomes of WSIS. The WSIS consensus provides
our industry with a road map for our common future as we strive to build an
inclusive Information Society.
Another sign of the change is the expanded workload of this Conference,
which has attracted more than 2’000 delegates; an ITU record. For instance,
the Working Group of the Plenary, has dealt with some 74 policy proposal
compared with 37 in Marrakesh. This shows how ITU is proving its relevance
as a forum for the resolution of policy issues.
Over the next four years, the industry will transform even further and
faster. Competition will grow, and a more flexible approach will be needed
on the part of regulators and policy-makers. These changes will be driven by
the private sector. ITU has taken the steps at this conference towards
opening up also to civil society. In addition, as a result of the WSIS
process, ITU will need to cooperate much more closely with the rest of the
UN and with other international and regional organisations. ITU itself must
also remain flexible and must continue to adapt to the Information Society.
I congratulate the newly elected Secretary General, Mr Hamadoun Toure,
and all other members of the newly-elected management team.
There is no time to spare for you. You should start to restructure the
working methods of ITU and to implement the new Resolutions adopted at this
conference as soon as you take office.
You should maintain the relevance and prestige of ITU among the UN
agencies as playing the leading role for implementing the WSIS Plan of
Action; the role it is called upon to play in the WSIS outcomes. This will
be a prerequisite for the future of the Union.
Finally, on a personal note, I would like to thank the membership and all
the staff of the Union for their unfailing support over the last eight
years. I will be returning to Japan shortly after the handover, but I can
assure you that I will not forget ITU and its missions. I will be working,
like all the membership, on the successful outcomes of the WSIS. This is not
just a personal mission, but a global one. We must all work towards
achieving a just and inclusive Information Society, in which all the world’s
inhabitants can benefit from access to ICTs.
Ladies and Gentelmen,
In keeping with ITU tradition, it is my pleasure to award Mr. Cataltepe the
ITU Silver Medal in honour of his services to the Union.