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BDT Director's Speeches

ITU Regional Development Forum for CIS
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic  08 November 2016

ITU Regional Development Forum for CIS

Opening speech 

Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, 8 November 2016

Mr Brahima Sanou,

Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau

Mr Sharshembiev, Chairman of the State Committee of Information Technologies and Communications,

Mr Avanessov, UN Resident Coordinator and Representatives of other UN Agencies,

Mr Mukhitdinov, Director General of the RCC Executive Committee,

Representatives of ITU Sector Members

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen:

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 2016 Regional Development Forum for CIS area, in the beautiful and historic city of Bishkek.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Kyrgyz Republic for facilitating and hosting the Regional Development Forum and the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17). It is a real pleasure to be here.

This RDF represents an excellent opportunity for all of us to share our views, engage in interactive discussions on regional priorities and achievements.

During this RDF we will provide you with an update on the implementation of the Dubai Action Plan, with particular emphasis on the regional initiatives.

Let me stress that the regional initiatives have been and will remain one of my first priorities because it is through their implementation that we can make a difference in the lives of the people on the ground.

Ladies and gentlemen:

As we embark on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), policy makers, regulators, private sector, development partners and all stakeholders of the ICT ecosystem need more than ever to establish an inclusive, multistakeholder and collaborative dialogue to achieve socio-economic development. The Regional Development Forum is a perfect platform for such dialogue.
We need to establish a structured dialogue with other sectors of life and I am pleased to say that, under my leadership, the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau has taken the lead in initiating such dialogue.
In February this year, for example, ITU and UNESCO, organized a Policy Forum which brought together ministers of education and ministers of ICTs for the first time to explore the role that policies and cross-sectoral collaboration can play in fostering innovation and the use of mobile technology to improve the quality, equity and accessibility of education.

In May, the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) reached out to the financial sector by organizing a Global Dialogue on Digital Financial Inclusion with the support of Gate Foundation.
Also in May, for the first time, ITU and WHO, organized an inter-ministerial round table to discuss the use of ICTs to improve universal health coverage, the adoption of digital technology in the health sector and the importance of continuous cross-sectoral collaboration.

ITU and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), developed an e-Agriculture Strategy Guide to help Member States to adopt a strategic approach in making the best use of ICT developments in agriculture.

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen:

WTDC-17 will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 9 to 20 October 2017 under the theme ICT④SDGs. With one year to go, a lot of exciting work remains to be done and tomorrow we will open the first Regional Preparatory Meeting.

2017 will also mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the ITU Development Sector. The anniversary is an opportunity not only to celebrate but also to reflect on the future. We plan year-long celebrations that will culminate at WTDC-17.

I invite all of you to contribute to the preparatory process of WTDC-17.

Ladies and gentlemen:

To conclude let state that we are in the new ecosystem where ICTs are less about optical fiber, zettabyte, satellite, 4G, 5G, tablets, smartphones or whatsoever but more about streamlining Government processes, bringing education to people in need, extending health services to rural and remote areas, facilitating trade and business, saving lives when natural disasters strike.

Above all ICTs are about people. Let us make ICT work the people.

Thank you.