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BDT Director's Speeches

Global Symposium for Regulators 2018
Geneva, Switzerland  10 July 2018

Global Symposium for Regulators 2018

Opening speech

10 July

Mr Brahima Sanou,

Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau

  • Ministers and Deputy Minister here present
  • CEOs and Chairman of Regulatory agencies
  • Representatives of ITU Sector members
  • Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU
  • Mr. Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General of ITU
  • Francois Rancy, Director BR
  • Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen

I am so pleased to welcome you to Geneva for a very exacting GSR-18.

It is good to remember that it is under the auspices of ITU that the liberalization of the telecommunication sector was launched in the mid-1990s with the Green Book for Africa, the Blue Book for Americas and the White book for the Arab States.

The liberalization led to the introduction of competition and the establishment of telecommunication regulatory bodies.

The Global Symposium for Regulators was created in the year 2000 as a forum for experience sharing with the aim of strengthening and stabilizing regulatory frameworks across the world.

18 years later, things have changed and a lot more change is to come.

We are now in an era of digital transformation that is fundamentally changing our economies and societies and improving service delivery in many other sectors.

As we embark in using emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and, the Internet of Things (IoT) for accelerating the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, GSR is as relevant as it was when it was created.

The new challenges and the huge opportunities associated with them require coordination and sharing of best practices.

Innovative policy and regulatory measures are needed to respond to the changing landscape and to address the need for affordable and secure access and use of digital services.

As regulators, you need to keep pace with advances in technology, and address the new regulatory frontiers.

The World Telecommunication Development Conference held in Buenos Aires, in October 2017, reaffirmed the importance of joining forces to build a new ecosystem of opportunities for all, based on access, affordability, collaboration, value creation, partnership building and innovation.

ICTs are affecting all sectors, and there is a need for collaborative discussions, collaborative regulatory approaches and joint implementation of projects.

We are already working with our sister UN agencies: UNESCO on education, WHO on health, FAO on agriculture, ILO on digital skills for decent jobs, UNIDO on innovation and World Bank on digital financial inclusion.

We need to look at the new ecosystem to make sure that ICTs are used for    development and to advance the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their targets.

The theme for GSR-18 is "New Regulatory Frontiers".

We will discuss what we can do together to ensure emerging technologies impact positively on our daily lives as consumers, businesses or simple citizens of the world.

To do so, we will work during GRS-18 under the chairmanship of Mr. Sorin Grandeanu, the President of the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications of Romania (ANCOM).

Before becoming the President of ANCOM, Mr. Grandeanu was Minister of ICTs and Prime Minister of Romania.

Throughout, he has therefore embraced different aspects of the ICT ecosystem, which makes him the best choice to lead us during these 3 days.

Once again, thank you very much for joining us for GSR-18.

Thank you