Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau
ITU-D Study Group 1 Plenary Session
15 September 2014
Ms Roxanne McElavne, Chairman of Study Group 1,
Vice-Chairmen of Study Group 1,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure and an honour for me to welcome you to this first meeting of ITU-D Study Group 1 for the new 2014‑2018 study period.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome and congratulate Ms Roxanne McElvane, the Chairman of Study Group 1, the vice-chairmen, and the candidates for the posts of rapporteur and vice-rapporteur.
I would also like to welcome all the participants, including those around the world who are attending this meeting remotely.
Before I go on, I would like to thank you, Madam Chairman, and your vice-chairmen, on the remarkable way in which you have steered the work of Study Group 1 over the preceding period. I also want to thank the rapporteurs, co-rapporteurs and vice-rapporteurs for the immense amount of work they have done, which has earned them commendations from WTDC.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This is a very exciting time for us all. We have adopted a new mandate for the Study Group, comprising some revised Questions and some entirely new ones.
In this regard, this first meeting is an excellent opportunity for us to get off to a good start and deliver some concrete, high-quality, well-thought-through and useful deliverables for all the topics we will be considering.
The World Telecommunication Development Conference in Dubai adopted a very ambitious work programme for the Telecommunication Development Sector to implement. That ambition is worthy of the challenges we are facing.
The Conference also agreed on certain changes to the Sector's working methods, which, as we know, will have an impact on the work of the ITU-D study groups. This is an important point. The telecommunications sector is changing at a very rapid pace and we need to ensure that our working methods are adapted and improved to meet the needs of the membership, while also ensuring that we are using our available resources effectively and efficiently.
The meetings of the two study groups this week and the week after mark an important milestone in preparing our work for this new study period.
These first meetings will look closely at the expected outcomes, identify methods for conducting work, and agree on detailed work plans, specifying possible interim deliverables, for each Question being studied.
In order to help you in your work, we have been continuously making enhancements to the existing tools used by the study groups, such as the case study library, mailing lists, remote participation services and collaborative sites.
During these meetings we will be providing induction and training sessions on these tools and the related working methods, to ensure that you can make the very best use of the platform provided by the study groups.
These meetings will also appoint the rapporteurs and vice-rapporteurs for each Question. I am very pleased to see the great interest expressed by the membership in being involved in the management of the study groups and in the substantive work on the Questions.
For the first time ever, we have multiple candidates for the vacant positions. I would like to thank you, Madam Chairman, for managing the process of selecting the rapporteurs, co-rapporteurs and vice-rapporteurs in a manner that takes due account of the appropriate balance between competencies, geographical distribution, and distribution among Member States, Sector Members, Associates and Academia. I would like to thank all those who expressed the willingness to be a rapporteur or vice-rapporteur. Thank you so much for all your support!
Since taking office, I have put a lot of emphasis on the work of the study groups as a knowledge platform, as they are one of the main sources of intellectual input in the work that we do. I would like to recall once again the value of the ITU-D study groups as an entirely membership-driven platform.
I want to assure you that the work of the ITU-D study groups remains relevant and that the outcomes are increasingly useful and of practical relevance for our membership.
Involvement in the ITU-D study groups provides access to a global pool of experience and resources from which countries can benefit, regardless of their levels of development and income.
Instead of focusing merely on providing a set of recommendations which policy‑makers can adopt and implement, the study groups allow participants to be engaged in a continuous learning process, to keep abreast of technological developments in the areas agreed by the membership at the WTDC, to share information, and to find solutions to challenges faced by stakeholders active in these areas.
Enhanced mutual understanding of the issues and the creation of international and cross-cutting partnerships promote mutual learning. Take the opportunity now to make the ITU-D study groups what you want them to be. With your support and excellent input, we can achieve even better results.
In order to attain the five objectives of the ITU-D Strategic Plan, we need to be sure that the work of the study groups and the implementation of programmes and regional initiatives are coherent and interdependent in such a way as to achieve overall synergies.
I have set out my vision of the ITU-D study groups as a knowledge platform, a space where new ideas and good practices from around the world converge and where creative and useful guidelines and other valuable resources are developed.
We have taken steps to improve our work, and will continue to do so, in order to deliver better services to the membership. I promise to continue in this direction, because it is what I believe in.
Whether you represent a Member State or one of our Sector Members, Associates, or Academia, or are part of a study group management team, we count on your active participation in these meetings and on your constructive input to this process.
You can rely on the determined and committed focal points appointed by myself among the BDT staff to assist you in your work.
I wish you a fruitful and productive Study Group 1 meeting.
Thank you for your attention.
 See the ITU-D study groups website at: www.itu.int/ITU-D/study_groups/.