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BDT Director's Speeches

Combating counterfeit and substandard ICT devices
Geneva, Switzerland  17 November 2014

ITU Event on Combating counterfeit and

substandard ICT devices

Opening Ceremony

Monday 17 November 2014

Geneva, switzerland

Opening Speech

Brahima Sanou


itu telecommunication development bureau

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,


  • It is my privilege, on behalf of Malcom Johnson the Director of TSB and on my own behalf, to welcome you to the International Telecommunication Union for this important event on "Combatting counterfeit and substandard ICT devices".


  • It is the first time that ITU hosts an event on this topic. This is just the first step in what we see as a long-term engagement in this area.

  • Counterfeiting is a growing problem across regions and economies, and immediate action is needed to remedy the situation.

  • It is widely recognized that counterfeiting has a negative effect on innovation, foreign direct investment and economic growth, in addition to redirecting resources into grey areas of the economy.

  • Governments and businesses are being robbed of hundreds of billions in tax revenues, income and jobs, while unsafe and ineffective products now pose a risk to millions of consumers, presenting serious health and safety hazards.

  • At the last World Telecommunication Development Conference in Dubai last April, ITU Member States adopted Resolution 79 on 'The role of ICTs in combating and dealing with counterfeit telecommunication and ICT devices'.

  • Resolution 79 was reinforced 10 days ago in Busan, Korea by the adoption of a new Resolution on the same issue by the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, the supreme decision-making body of ITU.


  • These resolutions instruct us to enter the minefield of counterfeiting and stand up for the interest of the ICT sector. They entrench solutions to counterfeiting in the work programme of the three sectors of ITU for the next four years, and very likely beyond.


  • Actually work has already started because a team of experts in Question 8 of ITU-T Study Group 11 on Protocols and test specifications, is finalizing this week a Technical Report on "Counterfeit ICT equipment".

  • The report is the first step in supporting ITU Member States – particularly developing countries – in their work to establish standardized solutions to combat counterfeiting as part of their national telecommunications/ICT strategies.


  • The discussions of these two days will highlight the common concerns, challenges, initiatives, good practices and opportunities of the various stakeholders in their fight against counterfeiting and substandard ICT products.

  • We are also seeking your views on refining the role of ITU, as part of the global strategy and solution to curtail counterfeiting and substandard ICT products as well as to assist our members in addressing their concerns regarding counterfeit in the ICT sector. 

    Distinguished Participants Ladies and gentlemen:
  • I am extremely pleased to see so many recognized experts from different backgrounds in the room. Your perspective on the salient problems we are here to tackle will be not only valuable, but necessary for shaping our common approach to counterfeiting. I am sure your contribution will make a difference in taking a new look at the key issues at stake.
  • I warmly welcome you again to this important gathering and I very much encourage you to think out-of-the-box and bring new ideas on the table.  


  • I wish you fruitful deliberations.

  • Thank you.