Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

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

ITU Telecom World 2011
Forum Closing

27 October 2011, Geneva, Switzerland

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

What an amazing week this has been!

It has been an immense privilege and a pleasure to be a part of it all, and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to interact with so many great minds, great ideas, and inspirational thoughts.

This is officially billed as the closing session of the Forum at ITU Telecom World 2011 – but of course it is not that at all.

Instead it feels more like the beginning of a conversation – a conversation that will lead us forward to next year’s ITU Telecom World event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and many more, over the coming years.

Indeed, perhaps the biggest success we have achieved here this week is to create a real sense of continuity – amongst the participants onsite here in Geneva, and amongst the global community following our progress online, on all five continents.

I would like to express my gratitude to Ernst & Young, who have been invaluable in helping us to develop the ‘Manifesto for Change’.

They have have successfully captured so much of the ebb and flow of knowledge and wisdom; the individual contributions from all over the world; and the snippets and sound bites.

We will go on remembering these key moments long after the immediate adrenalin and buzz of this week has died away.

Ladies and gentlemen,

By the time we next meet there will certainly be more than six billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide and I expect there to be more than two and a half billion people online.

I would hope that by the time we meet again that many of the things suggested this week – by our speakers, by our delegates, by the media, and by our thousands of remote participants – will actually have happened, bringing us closer to our mission of a fully-connected world.

I would hope that the ICT world will have continued to become more equitable and fair, and that we will see access to the benefits of ICTs brought to the places where it is needed most – including in rural and remote areas, especially in developing countries.

And I would hope that access to broadband will continue to become more affordable for all, and that we see active efforts made by all governments, in all countries, to recognize the enormous benefits of broadband, and encourage the kind of partnerships which are needed to rapidly increase broadband rollout.

Thank you.