Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

World Telecommunication Development Conference 2010
Closing Ceremony

4 June 2010, Hyderabad, India


Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, speaks at WTDC 2010

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

We have shared a remarkable two weeks together. After hours and hours of discussion and negotiation, Members have forged a common vision and plan of action for the coming years.

I stand before you today, proud of our Union, which I believe is stronger than ever before. Despite the many differences that could potentially divide us, we have come together - to share resources, experiences and energies and to work towards common goals. I thank all of you, for your flexibility, patience and spirit of collaboration.

I would like to thank our generous and dedicated host, the Government of India, for its unfaltering support. I believe that I speak on behalf of everyone in this room when I say that we are grateful for your efforts , Mr Thomas, and those of your team.

When the Government of India offered to host this event, I can now tell you, all of us in ITU were very pleased and were convinced that this event would be a resounding success. It was Max Mueller who famously said: “If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India.” He was right. The outcomes of this event bear testimony.

I would like to recognize the hard work and decication of Sami Al Basheer, the BDT Director. Sami can be proud of the success of this conference. I also thank the other ITU elected officials, Houlin Zhao, Deputy Secretary-General, Valarie Timofeev, Director of BR and Malcom Johnson, Director of TSB, for their support throughout.

Of course, I thank all ITU staff, who worked hard for many long hours, before and during this conference. Their commitment to the Union, as always, provides a solid foundation to our work.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

At the beginning of this conference, I talked about the importance of seizing the opportunity of broadband connectivity to fuel social and economic development.

I am pleased that this conference has laid out a vision and plan of action to truly bring ITU into the broadband internet age.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am excited. We are at a time when a brave new world is being shaped by key technological developments: wireless broadband; voice over IP and network rationalization on an IP layer; distributed low cost information storage; mobile Internet; ad hoc self-organizing networks. We must be proud to be part of this change. We are shaping a future in which Information and Communications Technology plays a catalytic role not just in accelerating local economies but in meeting key development goals in every facet of human life. That must be the value proposition for ICTs in any country - that it cuts transaction costs, improves access, expands services, improves government efficiency and makes development possible. It is now widely accepted that that ICTs are the entry price for success in the 21st century; and that they are not an optional extra.

Dear Friends

Here in Hyderabad, Members have agreed to programmes and initiatives focused on assisting developing countries tackle key challenges including the migration to next generation networks, cybersecurity and policy and regulatory reform to stimulate investment in the networks that will support advanced applications.
By doing so, we have the opportunity to finally stimulate real progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

You have also recognized the important role of ICT’s in dealing with emergencies and climate change, and supported our actions in this field. Our aim is both to help you, our Members, strengthen preparations and planning as well as be at your side when you most need ITU. I am proud of our actions in this area over the last few years, and we will continue to invest in this area.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

This is a great day for ITU. We can leave Hyderabad satisfied that we have achieved our objectives. But the work is not done. I will be working closely with the BDT Director, other elected officials and our staff to put these decisions into action to serve the Membership.

This conference paves the way to the next major event on the ITU calendar, the ITU Plenipotentiary this autumn. Members have highlighted a number of key issues that we will take up at PP-10, and I can assure you that the Secretariat will be reviewing all outcomes of this WTDC so that such issues are fully addressed when we gather again in Mexico.

I thank you all for your dynamic engagement over the past 2 weeks. I congratulate the BDT Secretariat, the support staff from the Host Country, the staff of BR and TSB as well as General Secretariat. A particular thanks to staff back in Geneva, especially from C&P, where the teams worked tirelessly, despite the time difference. My thanks go to the translators and interpretors who facilitated our work, sometimes working long hours.

I would like to close my remarks by wishing all of you a safe trip home to return to your families and to get some well-deserved rest.

Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the great honour to present to Mr Thomas, our Chairman, the ITU Silver Medal for his invaluable contribution to the work of the Union.

Thank you.