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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

BDT Director's Speeches

ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Development Forum 2016
Manila, Philippines  06 June 2016

ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Development Forum 2016

ICTs for Smart Sustainable Asia-Pacific

6-7 June 2016

Manila, Philippines



Mr. Brahima Sanou

Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Honorable Mario Montejo, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Republic of the Philippines;

Honorable Louis Napoleon Casambre, Undersecretary, Department of Science and Technology, Information and Communications Technology Office;

Mr. Masanori Kondo, Deputy Secretary General, Asia-Pacific Telecommunity;

Mr. Ioane Koroivuki, Regional Director of Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Distinguished Colleagues, Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning! 

It is indeed a great pleasure and a privilege to welcome you all to the ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Development Forum here in this beautiful and historic city of Manila. 

Let me also take this opportunity to express ITU’s sincere appreciation to the Honorable Mario G. Montejo, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines for hosting this important Forum and for the kind hospitality extended to us since our arrival. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The theme of this RDF: “ICTs for Smart Sustainable Asia-Pacific” is very timely as what is absolutely true today is that no one and no sector can imagine life without ICTs.

In building a smart, sustainable Asia-Pacific, policy makers, regulators, private sector, development partners and all stakeholders need to establish an inclusive dialogue such as this RDF to move together towards attaining sustainable development and better future for all people in the region.

ICTs underpin the social, economic and political growth of individuals, organizations and governments alike. They have become not only ubiquitous, but essential for progress.

The ICT industry has become broad and diverse, but more importantly, it is changing so rapidly that the ICT world seems new every day. 

Under such circumstances, reporting back to the membership on the BDT activities and programmes at 4-year interval at the occasion of the WTDC would not be sufficient.

It is in this regard that I took the initiative in 2011 to make the Regional Development Forums the platform for annual reporting to the membership at the regional level.

The RDF is therefore, a part of BDT efforts to strengthen ITU's regional presence and accountability. It also provides a great platform for partnerships; strengthening existing and building new.

The RDF is an occasion for us to go deep in the discussions on regional priorities and achievements. Let us use it to extend our conversation around concrete deliverables, regional challenges and opportunities.

During this RDF, we will provide an update on the status of the Asia-Pacific regional initiatives adopted by the World Telecommunication Development Conference in 2014. We will deliberate on proposals and contributions from the ITU and Members in the region for the coming two years to ensure that region’s aspirations and visions are met.

The main component of the agenda of the RDF remain the Regional Initiatives, because they are on the top of my priorities and at center our actions and activities. It is through their implementation that we will make a difference at national and regional levels.

Distinguished Participants

WTDC-17 is just 16 months from now. I would like to report to you that significant efforts are under way to prepare for WTDC-17. The ITU Council just endorsed the offer of Argentina, to host the conference from 09 to 20 October 2017 in Buenos Aires. Consultations for acceptance are underway with all ITU Member States.

We will hold six Regional Preparatory Meetings and the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Asia-Pacific Region in scheduled from 21 to 23 March 2017 in Indonesia. All the RPMs will be preceded by their respective Regional Development Forums.

In conclusion, let me add that my presence here today is also to express my appreciation and gratitude to the Member States, Sector-, Associate- and Academia- Members in the Asia-Pacific region as well as our partners for your contribution to the implementation of the Dubai Action Plan.

I hope that you all find this Forum fruitful and I look forward to the discussions and productive outcomes.

Maraming salamat po! Thank you very much!