Closing Ceremony
22 October 2010

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

ITU Secretary-General

Distinguished delegates,
My friends and colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

At the start of PP-10, almost three weeks ago, we were privileged to have with us the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, and two Ministers from his Government.

President Calderón encouraged us with his vision for Mexico, and the vital role that ICTs and broadband will play in Mexico’s bright future. He reinforced the importance of ‘competition, coverage and convergence’ and it was a tremendous honour to have him here us here, in this very room.

We were also honoured by the presence of the Governor of the State of Jalisco, Emilio González, who inspired me with his opening speech.

The Governor said that he hoped that: “the results of this Conference will bring us closer to a reality where telecommunications are used as a tool for peace, and not war; for development, and not exploitation; for solidarity, and not subjection; and for the union of people and not for their isolation.”

As we look back this afternoon on our three weeks of intense work, I feel that we can hold our heads high, and be proud that we have responded so positively to the Governor’s hopes.

I came to this 18th Plenipotentiary Conference with news of the extraordinary progress that had been made in ICT development in the space of just four years.

And I am absolutely confident that when we meet again, in four years time, I will be able to report even more dramatic progress. And that this progress will be very much due to the work that has been done here, by you, in Guadalajara.

So what will the world look like, when we reconvene in Korea in 2014?

How will we be accessing the Internet? Will we still be using smartphones and tablet computers, or will be using something completely different? How many trillion SMS messages will we be exchanging in 2014 – or will SMS be in decline by then, in the process of being replaced by another technology, application, or service?

The ICT environment is changing incredibly rapidly. Constant innovation is resulting in a constantly accelerating pace of technological change. With convergence, more and more categories and distinctions are becoming blurred – between voice and data, for example, or fixed and mobile, or infrastructure and content.

I do not believe that we can answer the really big questions, but I am sure that you have put in place the right framework to allow the ICT sector to embrace and profit from whatever new developments and trends occur in the next four years.

You have set sound foundations in place, and you should be proud of what has been achieved here.

Distinguished delegates,

Let me just mention a few of the achievements you have made during PP-10:

  • You have approved sound strategic and financial plans for the period from 2012 to 2015.

  • You have passed many important resolutions here, the very first of which was a revised resolution on HR management and development.

  • Other resolutions passed in Guadalajara concerned: Accessibility; ICTs and climate change; Strengthening regional presence; Measures to help prevent the illicit use and abuse of telecommunication networks; Conformance and interoperability; Emergency communications and humanitarian assistance; the admission of Sector Members from developing countries; Bridging the standardization gap; Special measures to assist Small Island Developing States and Landlocked Developing Countries; Electronic meetings; and many more.

  • You have opened up the way for the participation of academia in the Union’s work.

  • You have set up a Council Working Group to work on creating a stable constitution for the ITU.

  • You have agreed the preparatory process for the WCIT event which will be taking place in 2012.

  • You have given fresh impetus and direction to the ITU Telecom event, which will now take place annually, on the basis of a competitive bidding process.

  • And you were able to make a tremendous step forward in granting Palestine enhanced rights of participation as an observer in future ITU meetings and conferences.

  • And last but not least, you were able to broker last minute compromise on a number of key Resolutions on Internet issues, which strengthens and underlines our commitment to work with the Internet community in extending the benefits of the Internet to all global citizens.

We are all aware that so much could not have been achieved without the benefit of an extraordinary organizational and logistics operation in place. Or without incredibly thorough planning over many months, and meticulous implementation here in Guadalajara.

Let me highlight this with a few dramatic numbers that can go some way to describing PP-10:

  • We heard policy statements from a total of 93 Member State delegations.

  • We registered over 2,500 delegates from 167 countries at the conference, with over 2,000 delegates coming to Guadalajara – including 130 Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Ambassadors.

  • We held 545 meetings onsite here in Guadalajara Expo, and dealt with a total of 528 proposals from members during the Conference.

  • We have over 800 local staff assisting us with the event, along with more than 250 ITU staff, including over 70 interpreters.

  • More than a thousand shuttle bus journeys have conveyed staff and delegates to and from their hotels.

  • Over 35,000 pictures have been taken by ITU photographers, with almost 2,000 being published online and available for download by delegates. So far we have had over 100,000 photo views on Flickr.

  • We made 28 videos which have been watched over 4,000 times on YouTube as well as being broadcast here in Guadalajara Expo. While PP-10 has been on, ITU’s YouTube channel as a whole has just passed a quarter of a million video views.

  • PP-10 has attracted tremendous media coverage around the world – with over 1,500 media clippings from Angola to Venezuela and from Armenia to Zambia.

  • We have had over 75,000 visits to the PP-10 website over the past two and a half weeks, and almost half a million page views.

  • Over 90,000 hours were spent on the Wi-Fi network by almost 2,000 unique Wi-Fi client devices, and over 1,500 unique wired LAN devices.

  • We delivered over 200 hours of live broadcast webcasts, representing well over a thousand hours of audio/video archives, considering the six languages used.

  • Taking into account the six working languages of the Union, we have benefitted from 1,500 hours of interpretation and have had almost six thousand pages of translated documents.

  • And yet we have used less paper than ever before – saving an estimated printing of just over a million pages!. In terms of greenhouse gases saved, this amounts to over 5 tonnes, or the equivalent of running a typical family car for a whole year.

  • And, last but not least, 15,000 gifts were distributed to PP-10 participants.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Before I close, let me briefly look ahead, to the next four years.

We have a strong and united management team in place, along with a refreshed Radio Regulations Board – and I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to meet the new members here in Guadalajara. Each and every one of them has expressed their total commitment to the organization, and to work together over the coming four years.

They express the same sentiment we all feel that to succeed over the next term, we must continue to work together as One ITU.

We commit to continuing the good work that has already been done, and we commit to make this great organization shine.

ITU will continue to work with our Member States and Sector Members – and indeed stakeholders across the broader ICT sector – to face the changes in the ICT environment; to cooperate with our membership; and to protect the all-important principle of multilateralism and cooperation among the international community in the modern world.

We will do this by working together effectively to achieve our compelling and critical objectives in the next four years.

I will just reiterate some of the key points, which include:

  • The availability of ICT and broadband infrastructure for all citizens, including those living in the most challenging places.

  • A stable, flexible spectrum regime that can support the technical and commercial dynamism of this amazing sector.

  • Efficient and collaborative standards leadership that promote worldwide connectivity and accessibility, and the ability to rapidly adapt to innovation and evolving public and consumer needs.

  • A membership empowered by the latest information and best practices, and the continued updating of our skills.

  • The understanding that the public and private sectors must continue to work closely together if we are to succeed. In this respect we are fortunate in having ITU’s unique mix of government and industry members.

  • An active recognition of the importance of women and young people, who must be central to our agenda.

  • Indeed, over the next four years, our willingness and ability to reach out to all stakeholders will be absolutely key.

When we reconvene in four years time, I am confident that we will have accomplished the tasks and discharged the duties that you have set us here in Guadalajara.

I am confident, too, that we will have deserved the trust that you have placed in us at this 18th Plenipotentiary Conference.

You will be well aware that we have a refreshed and expanded Council, with 48 seats, and it was a great pleasure to hold an extraordinary session of Council this morning.

Each of the three ITU Sectors has its Advisory Board, but we in the General Secretariat have none, and I am therefore very grateful for Council, which is very helpful in advising and guiding us in our work.

We got off to a great start this morning, and I look forward to working closely with our Councillors over the next four years.

Over the next four years I also look forward to participating in the major conferences being organized by the three sectors, namely WRC-12; WTSA-12 (which will be held back-to-back with WCIT-12); and of course the next WTDC, which will take place before the next Plenipotentiary Conference.

I also look forward to seeing very many of you at the forthcoming ITU Telecom events, starting with ITU Telecom World 2011 next October.

These major ITU events make a world of difference in the greater ICT sector and I encourage your participation at each and every one.

Distinguished delegates,

Far beyond the next four years, ICTs will continue to transform the way we live, work and play.

  • They will continue to transform healthcare, education, transportation networks, the energy sector and the provision of government services.

  • They will continue to generate jobs, and drive growth, productivity and long-term economic competitiveness.

  • And they will continue to help us accelerate progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

At ITU, we have a duty and an obligation to all the world’s people, to ensure that ICTs deliver a better life.

We must continue to play a leading role in shaping the brave new ICT future, as it reaches into the lives of almost every single person on the planet. We may have had a few divisive moments here at the Conference in Guadalajara, but this leads, I am sure, to a better shared understanding and experience as we move forwards.

We must also continue in our efforts to bring affordable broadband access to all, since broadband is the vehicle that will transport society from the ‘Internet of Things’ to the ‘Internet of Everything’.

As we embrace a new era of converged applications and services, ITU must continue to remain at the heart of the ICT sector.

As I said to you at the start of the Conference, these are big issues.

And we will need to continue being a bold and brave organization, and continue standing tall.

As one of world’s greatest athletes – Muhammad Ali – once said:

“Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe we have what it takes to bring ITU successfully towards its 150th anniversary: the desire, the dream, the vision, the stamina, the speed, the skill, and of course the will.

Together we shall succeed!

Ladies and gentlemen,

In closing, I must give my heartfelt thanks on behalf of ITU to:

  • The Member State delegations which have taken part in the Conference, and the States they represent;

  • Our Sector Members, for their continuing support – many have been following the Conference online, via webcast, and I am pleased to see technology put to such good use;

  • The Chairs, Vice-Chairs and Secretaries of the Committees, who have done so much to distribute the workload of the Conference and whose tireless efforts have enabled us to manage the huge number of contributions received from members;

  • Let me single out the seven chairs and secretaries:

    • Mr Borjón, of Mexico, chair of Committee 1, and Ms Bogdan, the Secretary;

    • Mr Kisrawi, of Syria, chair of Committee 2, and Ms Beau, the Secretary;

    • Mr Wee, of Korea, chair of Committee 3, and Mr Chalindar, the Secretary;

    • Ms Alajouanine, of France, chair of Committee 4, and Mr Dalhen, the Secretary;

    • Mr Riehl, of Switzerland, chair of Committee 5, and Mr Dore, the Secretary;

    • Mr Gracie, of Canada, chair of Committee 6; and Mr Barr, the Secretary;

    • Mr Njoroge, of Kenya, chair of the Working Group of Plenary, and Mr Ntoko, the Secretary;

  • I will move on now to the entire ITU staff, both here and in Geneva, whose tireless work has made this Conference not just possible but so successful.

  • Where would we be without the army of translators, interpreters, précis writers and support staff on whom we depend so absolutely?

  • I would particularly like to single out the Executive Secretary of the Conference, Doreen Bogdan, who has not only provided myself and the Chair with essential counsel whenever we needed it, but who also holds the singular distinction of being the first woman to hold this post in the 18 Plenipotentiary Conferences held since the first International Telegraph Conference was held in Paris in 1865.
    Doreen: Congratulations on a job so well done!

  • I would also like to single out Elaine Baron for her extraordinary work behind the scenes, not just in organizing everything with positively military precision, but in never failing to introduce new efficiencies and innovations – including, this time, the excellent proposals management system.
    Thank you, Elaine.

  • And finally, let me thank our hosts here in Mexico. We have all been extraordinarily impressed with the support you have given us and the facilities you have provided. Thank you so much for this.

  • Which brings me to three very important individuals, who we would like to reward for their contributions to the Union.

  • First, there is the outgoing Director of BR, and my very good friend, and long-time mentor, Valery Timofeev.

  • Second, there is the outgoing Director of BDT, Sami Al Basheer, who has done so much for the cause of telecommunications development, and who I am sure will be continuing to contribute to ITU’s work.

  • And last, but by no means least, there is our Chairman, Fernando Borjón, who has played a vital role in the work of the Conference. He has managed to keep his calm and nerve throughout the long days and nights we have spent together, and he has epitomized the key ITU value of seeking consensus.

  • For your exceptional contributions, I would now like to present each of you with a certificate and the ITU Silver Medal – though since Valery already has a Silver Medal, we must continue ITU tradition and award with the ITU Gold Medal

Thank you.