Committed to connecting the world


BDT Director's Speeches

ITU-D Study Group 1, 2019 Plenary
Geneva, Switzerland  18 March 2019

ITU-D Study Group 1
Monday 18 March 2019
Speech by Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau

Ms Fleur Regina Assoumou Bessou, Chair of Study Group 1,

Vice-Chairs of Study Group 1,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to this meeting of ITU-D Study Group 1.

Before we begin today, I would like to request that we rise from our seats and observe one minute's silence in honour of our outstanding BDT colleagues, Maygenet Abebe and Marcelino Tayob, who so tragically lost their lives on 10 March while on their way to Nairobi for the Steering Committee meeting of the Centers of Excellence. Both were highly respected and beloved colleagues who were an enormous asset to our organization. They will be greatly missed by all of us, and our hearts go out to their families and friends at this extremely difficult time.


Thank you.

This is the second meeting of the ITU-D Study Groups for the 2018-2021 cycle, and my first Study Group meeting since I took office on January 1st.

I would like to extend a special welcome to Fleur Regina Assoumou Bessou, Chair of Study Group 1, to all our Vice-Chairs, and to our rapporteur and vice-rapporteurs. Let me also extend a warm welcome those attending this meeting remotely.

Distinguished colleagues,

In my inauguration speech, I outlined my main priorities as Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau.

I want to lead a BDT focused on building more partnerships, with measurable results and positive impact. A BDT where we empower our Regional Offices and Field Offices and help them become even more relevant to the communities they serve. Where we strengthen our capacity building efforts and enhance our work on data collection, analysis and forecasting, to support rigorous, evidence-based policymaking.

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.

What does this mean for the work of our ITU-D Study Groups?

It means making concrete linkages between the work we undertake through our Study Questions and BDT's broader programme of activities, Regional Initiatives, projects underway in Member States, and capacity building.

We need to approach our future work in the spirit of constant innovation, making the very best use of resources through efficiencies and synergies.

The work of ITU-D Study Groups is crucial in accelerating the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through our work, we are able to align the important work of the Development Sector with the Sustainable Development Goals. Under my leadership we will continue to strengthen our collaboration with the UN system, and work with other stakeholders, focusing on those SDGs where ICT can play a key catalytic role, such as health care, education, gender, agriculture, e-waste and emergency telecommunications – just to mention a few. We must strive to accelerate digital transformation in every country, community, school, and household, so that we make a real difference to the lives of those who need it most.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a very exciting time for us all. As we progress on the work of Study Group 1 under the theme 'Enabling environment for the development of telecommunications/ICTs', through our seven Study Questions, please keep this in mind: in future, we must be able to show clear links between the activities in the Study Groups and our Resolutions and Regional Initiatives. We must ensure that all the efforts we make here are well coordinated with other ongoing BDT activities and that our work 'delivers the goods' in terms of national and regional priorities. And we must do this in an inclusive and sustainable manner, and with measurable results.

As you know, in coordination with our Regional and Field Offices, I have initiated the creation of topical clusters to better identify and coordinate local and regional activities on a range of topics such as broadband, cybersecurity, emergency telecommunications, and e-waste – many of which are linked with your Questions.

I am confident that our Study Groups will benefit from this clustering initiative, and I encourage you to talk to our staff locally and in the regions. Remember, too, that the Study Group Secretariat is always available to assist you to make connections where needed.

ITU continues to be actively engaged in leading many important events on topics directly connected to Study Group Questions. For example, I recently participated in the very successful 3rd Global Forum on Emergency Telecommunications – GET-19 – which brought together a wide range of experts from around the world to discuss the role of ICT networks and services in disaster risk reduction and management.

There are many more important events to come during the year, starting with the 24th meeting of TDAG, and of course the Global Symposium for Regulators in July in Vanuatu. I encourage all of you to get involved, participate, and connect your activities to these events wherever possible.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I look forward to your enthusiastic participation and constructive inputs during the course of this meeting. In turn, you can rely on the Study Group Secretariat and BDT focal points in headquarters and in the regions to assist you in your work. I wish you all a most stimulating and productive meeting.

Thank you​