Good morning distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen
First of all, I would like to thank the Administration of the United Arab Emirates for hosting this Sixth World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) and for showering us with their hospitality and excellence in the organization of such a prestigious event.
Please let me extend my gratitude to the ITU Authorities for the work, the commitment and the strong leadership in promoting the objectives of this Union.
Argentina is pleased to be part of this World Conference where we hope to contribute with the double mission of the Union, both as a specialized agency of the United Nations and as an executive organization in charge of the development projects of the United Nations system.
We all agree on the fact that this is a key moment for telecommunications in which ICTs have an essential role in the course of our daily lives. The global nature of ICTs is becoming more relevant each day, and it is here, at ITU, where the Development Sector must deploy all its capacities and potential to keep up with the needs and the rapid pace of the changes imposed by nature, and at the same time become a catalyst to improve the quality of people's lives.
As you probably know, in Argentina the State has made a firm commitment to lead the digital inclusion process through different policies such as the National Telecommunications Plan "Argentina Conectada", an integral connectivity strategy destined to provide better daily communication conditions for all inhabitants in our country.
Also, the ArgentineState is pushing forward the development of free, over-the-air, quality Digital Terrestrial Television with nationwide coverage. This public policy aims at guaranteeing the democratization of information and knowledge, social inclusion, respect for cultural diversity, the enhancement and development of our national industry, the promotion of employment, scientific and technological advance, the promotion of quality TV contents and citizen participation.
Our "Conectar Igualdad" Program provides a computer for each student and teacher of public secondary schools, special education institutions and teachers' training colleges nationwide with the necessary connectivity. So far, more than 3 million school computers have been handed out.
Also, I would like to share with you that Argentina is about to announce the launch of satellite ARSAT1. Within the frame of Argentina's telecommunication policy, this satellite represents a project destined to catalyze our national manufacturing industry. It is "our own satellite" and therefore it is extremely meaningful since it will offer a wide range of telecommunication services such as TV, telephone and Internet, reaping benefits for education, employment and commerce, among other areas.
With a nationwide coverage extended to Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay, this great news adds to the fact that we are already working on the design, implementation and launch of the upcoming satellites ARSAT 2 and ARSAT3.
But in addition, we are working hard on the inclusion of minorities, women and children; people with disabilities and indigenous peoples to guarantee their rights through rules and regulations that prioritize their attention over other aspects.
Today Argentina and ITU, with the support of the Development Bureau, are working on the implementation of an initiative to extend the participation of the Academia, which started in 2011.
There are leading professionals in our country, but also educational institutions, and first-class teachers and researchers who undoubtedly cannot be left out of the growth and development process that the sector is going through, in view to reduce the technological divide.
For this reason, we have invited one hundred (100) top-level academic institutions from Argentina to take part in the activities of ITU, and we are very glad to say that they have welcomed our invitation with honest interest. Two national universities are already partners and another 20, located throughout the country, are in the process of meeting the requirements to join this leading and governing telecommunication organization.
The academic institutions willing to join the ITU Sectors will have the support of the ArgentineState to be a part of this academic community that works with the latest advances in the field of ICTs.
These institutions will have the chance to take active participation in the current activities of the ITU Sectors and to have an influence on new technologies and standards through further training. Participation in ITU meetings and workshops will include ICT regulatory and public policy aspects in the institutions' agenda, preventing them from only focusing on strictly technical matters.
The Argentine Government supports the participation of the academic institutions and the scientific-technical advance as key players for the industrial, economic and social development of modern societies.
It is Argentina's will to maintain its active participation in the tasks of the Development Sector and in all the areas of the Union.
Argentina, as a developing country, is committed to supporting the tasks of the Development Sector, putting all its capacities at the service of the Union to help them reach the objectives and goals of this important Sector.
Therefore, we believe it is essential that the three Sectors also take into account and implement the development-related policies and measures established and carried out by the Union, mainly oriented to reduce the digital, standardization and access to resources gaps. The greatest efforts should be made to make their work consistent with these policies, so sensitive and necessary for the developing countries.
As far as I am concerned, in my capacity as authority of the Government of Argentina, I make myself available to strengthen the bonds with you, my colleagues and dear friends, so that we can solve difficulties hand in hand, in joint synergy and overcome the obstacles that prevent us from moving forward in telecommunication development to benefit mankind and preserve the planet.
Thank you very much for your attention