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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

BDT Director's Speeches

GSR-14, Closing speech
Manama, Bahrain  05 June 2014

​Ladies and gentlemen, 

Over the last three days, we have been discussing strategies to capitalize on potential of the digital world.  Strategies which we heard need to focus on trust, innovation, empowerment, transparency, reliability and resiliency.  

We had the opportunity to share our views and best practices. I was glad to hear that ITU continues to be, for you, a very important and solid platform where we can all gather to discuss and exchange ideas and cooperate for a better world. 

Celebrating 15 years of GSR existence this year certainly reflects the importance and relevance of such a gathering. 

At this GSR, we have acknowledged the importance of working together, of strengthening and extending our cooperation, of involving other stakeholders such as financial and banking institutions to work together in setting the conditions for connecting the unconnected. 

When it comes to collaboration, regional regulators' associations have increasingly played a key role in building a common understanding, strengthening cross-border cooperation and in designing a harmonized approach to regulation.  

We will start this final session by hearing from His Excellency Dr Hamed bin Salim Al Rawahi, Executive President, of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Oman, and Chairman of the Regulatory Associations (RA) Meeting, on the outcomes of the RA Meeting he chaired on 2nd June.  

We will then continue with the presentation of the GSR draft best practice guidelines by Dr Mohammed Ahmed Alamer, Chairman, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain and GSR14 Chair who coordinated the consultation and drafting of these guidelines.  

Finally, as this event is yours, we will hear your proposals and suggestions on the way forward, and the topics for the 15th edition of the GSR.  

Excellency Dr Hamed bin Salim Al Rawahi, the floor is yours!  

Dr Hamed bin Salim Al Rawahi presents the outcome of the RA meeting that took place on 2nd June.  

Excellency Dr Hamed bin Salim Al Rawahi, thank you for these insights. We count on AREGNET's continuous participation in the coming RAs and your support in all of ITU's regulatory activities. 

We will now proceed with the presentation of the 2014 draft best practice guidelines that reflects the consensual and collaborative spirit of the GSR. This year's guidelines focus on consumer protection in a digital world. 

As we all know, developing and using best practices is the best way to fast-track our efforts to adapting to change and embracing new technologies for development and business. 

We all agree that in this globalized and interconnected landscape, we need to work together to protect the rights of the consumers, especially those of vulnerable people, by encouraging the development of modern and effective regulatory tools.  

I am confident that these Guidelines will help us build a safer and trustworthy digital environment for all.  

Dr Alamer, you have the floor! 

Dr Alamer, presents the guidelines  

Dr Alamer, I wish to thank you for coordinating and consolidating the guidelines. I also wish to thank the regulators who contributed to make these guidelines a significant outcome of this event.   

Ladies and gentlemen, 

I now look forward to your proposals for the next GSR so that we can develop the GSR Discussion Papers and prepare a programme related to the theme or themes which you identify as being most relevant to your daily work.

The consultation on these topics will continue throughout the month of July.  

I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and our sincere thanks to the Gabonese Administration and in particular to Mr Lin Mombo, President of the Regulatory Board of ARCEP, for taking the GSR to Africa next year for its 15th Edition. 

  • BDT Director opens the discussion on the themes and proposals for the next GSR.  

    [If proposals are made:]

    I thank you for your very good proposals. 

    I will now give the floor back to Dr Alamer for his closing remarks. 

    [If proposals are not made:] 

    I understand that you may want more time, please send us your proposals by 20 July 2014. 
  • BDT Director gives the floor to Dr Alamer to make closing remarks.

  • BDT Director makes his closing remarks. 

    Ladies and gentlemen, 

Capitalizing on the potential of the digital world as we heard can only be achieved through collaborative efforts, resulting in effective and smart regulation. Smart regulation doesn't mean more regulation but more focused regulation when necessary.  

In a digital world, consumers have rights but also responsibilities. Empowering consumers, redefining responsibilities and creating the conditions for all citizens to benefit from the potential of the digital world further calls upon cooperation at all levels, national, regional and international.  

As we also heard, the opportunities brought by a world of data are immense but require close scrutiny and caution from us all to mitigate the dark side of the digital world.  

Setting the right conditions for innovation and new business models to flourish remains critical, along with identifying strategies to meet the demand for capacity and connectivity.  

Assessing the impact of regulation can be a useful mechanism to be considered to support regulatory decision making. Measuring the implementation of broadband plans and reporting on progress made will also contribute in identifying where regulatory and investment efforts are further needed.   

This year we have seen high-level of participation with a total of over 700 registered leading specialists from 113 countries worldwide. The event attracted around 80 VVIPs and VIPs.   

The GSR was preceded by a series of rich pre-events that included:

  • the Workshop organized by the ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau on white spaces and dynamic spectrum access: status and developments
  • The GVF-ITSO Seminar on "Satellite Communications Spectrum: Assessing User Needs for Connectivity"
  • The 3rd Private Sector Chief Regulatory Officers Meeting, and
  • The Regulatory Associations Meeting. 

    These pre-events certainly set the scene for our following discussions during the GSR itself.

Our hosts have surpassed expectations in terms of their organization, their generosity and hospitality and the commitment they have shown to this important event.  

We wish to thank our hosts for offering us the opportunity to visit their beautiful country tomorrow. 

Before I conclude, I would like to thank His Royal Highness the Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, for his patronage of the GSR, and the support of His Excellency Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of State for Telecommunications Affairs and, Dr Mohamed Alamer, Chairman of the TRA and his Team for providing us with excellent facilities and working conditions.

Particularly, I would like to thank ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun Touré for his wisdom and his presence at the GSR events since its inception. Dr Touré you have left a legacy that we promise to continue in good faith. 

I extend also my thanks to Mr François Rancy, Director, Radiocommunications Bureau, for being here with us and providing us with his firm support. 

I would also like to thank all the moderators, panelists, speakers and the GSR Discussion Paper authors for sparking such a rich dialogue.  I am extremely proud of the content ITU and the GSR Discussion Paper authors brought to this event. 

I would also like to thank the interpreters for their patience and hard work. 

Allow me to thank all the ITU staff, those present in Bahrain and those in Geneva, who have worked tirelessly to make this event a resounding success. 

I would like to single out Mr Makhtar Fall, for the simple reason that he will retire from ITU before the end of this year.  

Ladies and gentlemen, 

Once again, thanks to all of you here for making the GSR a success through your active and valuable contributions. 

I wish all of you and your families the very best and a very safe trip home.