Geneva, Switzerland, 16 January 2019
Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is both an honour and a pleasure to address you today.
In the two weeks which have elapsed since I became the Director of the ITU's Development Bureau, I have identified immense opportunities for collaboration towards the achievement of our sustainable development goals.
Sustainable development is at the core of the activities of this Bureau because we understand that ICTs are cross-cutting and that they are at the foundations of every sector of today's life.
I am inspired by the potential impact of connectivity and the promise of technology to promote better education, healthcare, agriculture, and more.
As the Secretary-General said, half of the world's population is using the Internet but there is still much to do to ensure that we bring the other half online.
For this to happen, technology has to be made affordable, more inclusive, and safe.
For this to happen, we all have to work together and increase our efforts to bring technology to the people, in every area and every walk of life.
If we do not connect the other half, it will not be possible for us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
To the Diplomatic Corps and Executive Heads of International Organizations, here present today: let's work together! We want to partner with you, your countries, your organizations to ensure that we can achieve the goal of universal connectivity. We will not succeed without collaboration.
The opportunities for partnerships are many.
Together we can turn the digital revolution into a development revolution.
My main priorities, as Director of the Development Bureau, are all interlinked. I want to lead a BDT where we build more partnerships, with measurable results and positive impact; where we empower the field offices and make them more relevant; where we strengthen capacity building efforts and enhance our work on data collection, analysis and forecasting to facilitate evidence-based policy making.
I am committed to making the development bureau more efficient, more modern and more innovative in all areas of our work, so that we can respond better to the needs of our members.
We are already in full gear with the planning of several important events to which you are all invited.
From 6 to 8 March, the Global Forum on Emergency Telecommunications will take place in Mauritius where we will highlight the role of ICTs in disaster risk reduction and management, and saving lives.
On 25 April, we will be celebrating Girls in ICT Day, a dynamic initiative to encourage and empower girls and young women to take up ICT careers. The main celebration will take place in Addis Ababa but I invite you to organize events to celebrate this day in every corner of the world and to build awareness among decision makers on the need to attract more women to the ICT sector.
From 9 to 12 July, the Global Symposium for Regulators, known as GSR, will convene in Vanuatu. GSR has become a key platform for constructive thinking and sharing of best practices in ICT and telecoms policies, regulations and economic issues.
I would like to thank ITU staff for their commitment and for sharing every day their talents and expertise. You are the engine of this organization.
I would like to end these short remarks by thanking the Secretary-General, the Deputy-Secretary General and the other Directors. I look forward to working together to achieve our noble objectives.