Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

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

ICT Discovery

25 October 2011, Geneva, Switzerland

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a truly great honour to welcome you to the official inauguration of ICT Discovery.

This is where ITU highlights the history of information and communication technologies, their achievements, and how they have transformed our lives.

We also take a look at the future, and the wonderful opportunities brought about by new technological developments that could be just around the corner.

ICT Discovery is also about the contribution that ITU has made to all this progress, from 1865 right through to the present and on into the future.

The creation of a centre like this at our headquarters was endorsed three years ago at the 2008 meeting of the ITU Council. It is a great pleasure to be able to demonstrate the results of our efforts since then.

The displays here cover the history of communications since the very beginning of humanity, up to the Internet and the mobile devices that we carry around today. They provide a snapshot of the interconnected world we live in, and the journey towards instant, global, multimedia communications in the knowledge society of tomorrow.

Visitors will able to interact with the displays to receive information in seven languages. Exhibits showcase the work of some of our members, and there are also physical objects to examine – which you are allowed to touch! I am sure that the multimedia exhibits and games in particular will prove to be very popular.

In the space opposite ICT Discovery itself, we plan to host rotating exhibitions on key topics, as well as projects and new inventions from our members.

The construction of ICT Discovery has been made possible through the patronage of the founding partner, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates – represented here today by Mohammad Al Ghanim, the Director General, and Mohammad Al Qamzi, the Chairman. We are most grateful indeed for your support.

Let me also give special thanks to Samsung, represented here by Bang-Seob Choi, CEO of Samsung Austria. As well as being a premium sponsor of ITU Telecom World 2011, Samsung has also sponsored ICT Discovery as a Technical Partner, through providing video screens, for instance, and the tablet computers that will help to guide and inform visitors.

And let me offer our thanks to ETRI, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, represented by its Vice-President, William K. Jee; to NASA; and to Rohde and Schwarz, represented here by Hans von Geldern, the ITU Liaison Officer, and Mathias Pauli, Director of Research and Development.

Their contributions to the industry section of ICT Discovery will be of great interest and benefit to visitors.

We look forward to working together with more of the ITU membership in future.

After the inauguration today, we will continue work on finalizing ICT Discovery over the coming months, ahead of the official opening to the general public early next year.

I hope that you will all come back again at that time – and that you will encourage visitors from each of your home countries. ICT Discovery is a great resource for ITU, for everyone associated with the world of ICTs, and for the public at large.

You will always be welcome.

Thank you.