STATEMENT BY H.E. BINALI YILDIRIM, MINISTER OF TRANSPORT
REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies,
distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to express on behalf of my
government, my distinct pleasure in sharing our views in connection with
this Summit and the progress achieved so far.
We have all been contributing to a long and tiring
process which is of critical importance for our common future. Bearing in
mind that the World Summit on the Information Society has been conducted in
two phases including many preparatory sessions in an attempt to seek common
denominators, the concept of information society has indeed been taken-up
with determination by the international community.
As the driving force behind the Information Society, ICTs
are without doubt the most important instruments of the sustainable economic
and social development processes within the development efforts of the new
millenium. In essence, we have been discussing about the active
participation of every individual in the economic and social aspects of
their respective societies using their real potential, whereby seizing the
opportunities presented by ICTs. However, all opportunities bring about new
challenges as well. The universal character of the Internet, as an example,
necessitates international collaboration against new challenges and threats.
Make no mistake; effective international cooperation
would lead to the creation of a common vision for a better future. In this
connection, the digital divide, internet governance, information security
and cyber crimes require our greater scrutiny.
Opportunities for economic and social development offered
by the Information Society would be instrumental also in attaining the
Millenium Development Goals.
It would be unrealistic to expect societies to achieve
great strides in economic and social development without progressively using
ICTs to bring about their true potential to provide a better future.
In the global village of today, humanity needs more
mutual understanding and cooperation, paving the way to increased
solidarity. In the near future, ICTs will play an important role in bridging
different conceptions, thus contributing to international efforts such as
the "Alliance of Civilizations Project" led by Turkey and Spain.
The generation of, access to, and sharing of information
appear to be among the most crucial factors before us for the creation of an
information society which indeed is a transformation process with deep
impacts on our societies. Prominent issues such as technological
infrastructure, education and human resources, business environment and
entrepreneurship, and social transformation require our determined action.
Particularly in recent years Turkey, cognizant of this
holistic approach, has increased her efforts to manage the process of
transforming the Turkish society into an information society in a more
coordinated manner. In this connection, a myriad of programs have been
developed; namely, e-government services in education, health, taxation,
social security, justice system and in similar fields, broadband access to
schools and infrastructure services to SME's. Universal service regulations
are being utilized to overcome the digital divide and projects are being
developed to achieve social inclusion of those with low income, giving
special emphasis on rural areas.
My government considers that the implementation and
follow-up of the Tunis Agenda as well as the commitments made by the
international community during the two phases of the WSIS process constitute
the most crucial aspects of our common future.
Mr. President, Esteemed delegates,
I would like to express our gratitude to the Tunisian
Government for their great hospitality as well as for their tireless efforts
to make this Summit a success.
Last, but not the least, our sincere appreciation also go
to the ITU as well as to all the stakeholders.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to reiterate our
pleasure in welcoming you to Turkey for the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference
in November 2006 in Antalya, Turkey.
I thank you very much.