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BDT Director's Speeches

WTDC-14, Closing speech (English)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates  10 April 2014


10 April 2014,

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Closing Ceremony

Brahima Sanou

Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau


•            Your Excellency, Mr Mohamed Al Qamzi, President of the United Arab Emirates' Telecommunications Regulatory Authority,

•            Your Excellency, Dr Mohamed Al Ghanim, Chairman of the 6th World Telecommunication Development Conference,

•            Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegation in your respective grades, functions and capacities,

•            Dr Hamadoun Touré, Mr Houlin Zhao, Mr Malcolm Johnson and Mr François Rancy,

•            Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,


As the curtains close on the 6th World Telecommunication Development Conference, I must note that, together, we have set several new records.

1           This conference brought together 1311 delegates representing 137 Member States and 82 Sector Members, along with 52 VIPs.

2           There were no sessions in parallel, which made it possible for all delegates, in particular from the developing countries, to participate fully in all the work of the conference.

3           We had subtitles for both the plenary and the committee meetings (in 2010, subtitles were available only for the plenary meetings).

4           ITU provided members with a mobile application for accessing WTDC-14 documents and consulting them offline. We also provided you with an application for accessing the webcast on your tablets and smartphones.

5           We ended the work of the conference half a day early.

These new records were set thanks to the convergence of a favourable set of facts and circumstances:

1           The exemplary hospitality and excellent working conditions provided to us by the authorities of the United Arab Emirates. Mr Chairman, please extend my deepest gratitude to the highest authorities of your country.

2           The positive, constructive and consensual spirit of all delegations. I should like to thank you most humbly, ladies and gentlemen, delegates to WTDC-14.

3           A chairman who knows how to strike just the right balance between consensus, rigour, flexibility and a sense of humour, and all with an unshakable calm. Mr Chairman, you have both my respect and my gratitude, and I thank also the Vice-Chairmen of the Conference who assisted you and your entire team.

4           The chairmen of the committees and Working Group of the Plenary, who proved perfectly up to their tasks. The conference thanks you, Mr Paarock VanPercy, Mr Mario Canazza, Ms Sulyna Abdullah, Ms Laurence Barriac and Mr Fabio Bigi.

Please allow me to make special mention of the Editorial Committee, led by Ms Laurence Barriac, which went several nights without sleep in order to allow us to adopt the outcomes of our work.

5           The chairmen of the ad hoc groups and drafting groups, who were willing to work over the weekend, very early in the morning and late at night. I thank you all.

6           The very good support from the interpreters, translators, technical teams, and the Dubai World Trade Centre's very professional team, and everyone who worked invisibly behind the scenes to make our stay a memorable one.

7           The sound preparations made by the ITU secretariat. I should like to thank all the ITU staff, both here and in Geneva, of whom we are proud, and especially the secretaries Mr Cosmas Zavazava, Mr Alassane Ba, Mr Bruno Ramos, Mr Mario Maniewicz, Mr Eric Dalhen and Ms Eun-Ju Kim, and all those who supported and assisted them.

I should like also to recognize the very good collaboration and unwavering support provided by the other elected officials, and, since this is his last WTDC as an elected official, to assure Dr Touré that we will continue the work he began in BDT.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

The decisions we have taken here in Dubai will give us a clear direction, shared vision and action plan.

Here in Dubai, we have noted once more that broadband is key to sustainable socio-economic development.

Here in Dubai, we have reaffirmed that the establishment of transparent legal and regulatory frameworks is indispensable in order to stimulate investment.

Here at the Dubai World Trade Centre,  we have stressed the importance of building confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

Here in Dubai, we have reiterated our commitment, now more than ever, to making ICTs available and affordable to the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.

Here in Dubai, we have also agreed that digital inclusion and the use of telecommunications and ICTs in the prevention and management of natural disasters should be our leading priority.

I was very pleased to hear numerous delegates talking about partnership with other organizations and the private sector. Very pleased, because I cannot imagine a BDT working on its own.

I believe very strongly and very deeply in partnership, because for me, any duplication means a missed opportunity for development.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

As this conference draws to a close, we can be proud of what we have achieved. And I look forward to translating our commitments into action without delay.

Before concluding, I should like to congratulate the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the study groups and TDAG, whom the conference has just elected to support BDT in implementing the Dubai Action Plan.

I should like also to express my full recognition, and that of BDT, to all the chairmen, vice-chairmen and rapporteurs of the period 2010-2014, and to make very special mention of Mr Mokrane Akli, who has brought so much to Study Group 2 as its Chairman. Thank you for the legacy you are leaving to the study groups, and thank you Algeria and Algérie Telecom.

I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Kavouss Arasteh. I am sure that other wise men are in the room but Mr. Kavouss, who is our brother, represents them all.

I wish all of you a safe journey home, and extend my greetings to your families.

God bless you all.