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BDT Director's Speeches

ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Development Forum 2015
Bangkok, Thailand  21 August 2015

ITU Regional Development Forum 2015: Smartly Digital Asia-Pacific

21-22 AUGUST 2015




Mr. Brahima Sanou

Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Mrs Songporn Komolsuradej, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Thailand
Honorable minister and other high dignitaries here present
Ms. Areewan Haorangsi, Secretary General, Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT)
Mr. Ioane Koroivuki, Regional Director of ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning and welcome to the ITU Regional Development Forum for the Asia-Pacific.

Before I deliver my welcome remarks this morning, I wish to take this time, on behalf of the Secretary General, Mr. Houlin Zhao, my other colleagues elected officials of ITU and on my own behalf, and indeed on behalf of all the participants to this Forum, to express our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and to the people and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand for the loss of lives and casualties.

Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to start by thanking Mrs Songporn Komolsuradej, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology of Thailand for the kind invitation to host the Regional Development Forum in her beautiful welcoming country.

As you are all aware, the ICT industry has become broad and diverse and, but more importantly it is changing so rapidly that the ICT world evolves every day. Under such circumstances, reporting back to the membership every 4 years at the occasion of the World Telecommunication Development Forum would not be effective enough.
Considering the above, I took the initiative in 2011 to make the Regional Development Forums (RDF) the platform for annual reporting to the membership at regional levels. The RDF is also part of our efforts to strengthen the ITU Regional presence by allowing annual regional reporting on the activities of ITU and also strengthening regional accountability.

The RDF is finally an occasion to extend the conversation on development issues to other telecom/ICT multi-stakeholders who are not yet Members of ITU Development sector.

The RDF of this year, the first after WTDC-2014, will focus mainly on the Regional Initiatives and in the following years will include all BDT programs and activities.

Let me again reiterate that the Regional Initiatives have been and will remain my first priority and main focus because it is through their implementation that we can make a difference in the lives of the people on the ground. Regional Initiatives are intended to address specific telecommunication/ICT priority areas, through partnerships and resource mobilization to implement small, medium and large scale projects. Under each Regional Initiative, projects are developed and implemented to meet the region's needs.

During this RDF, we will present the proposed implementation plan for all the Regional Initiatives for Asia Pacific Region with the purpose of getting your feedback to ensure that they meet your vison and aspirations, and that is very important to us.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to acknowledge the support of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity and, in particular, Ms. Areewan Haorangsi, Secretary General of the APT for the continued cooperation with the ITU Regional Office for Asia-Pacific.

I am very happy to see such good cooperation because for me the Regional Telecommunication Organizations such as APT are at some extent the pillars of ITU. As such, strong regional telecommunication organizations can only make ITU stronger. We should therefore work in close cooperation in order to avoid any duplication.

In this Regional Development Forum, in addition to Member States from the region, we also have high level of participation and support from our Sector Members from the industry as well as UN Agencies ensuring a partnership that will lead to successful implementation of the outcomes of Connect Asia-Pacific Summit: Smartly Digital Asia-Pacific 2020. I thank them and welcome them to the RDF Asia-Pacific.

In conclusion, I would like once again to welcome you all to this Regional Development Forum and to reiterate my gratitude and appreciation to our host, Thailand and particularly to Mrs Songporn Komolsuradej, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology of Thailand for honoring us with her presence at this opening ceremony.

I look forward to very fruitful discussions.
I thank you.