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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

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

ITU Telecom World 2012


 Remarks At the Launch Of The M-Powering Development And

Smart Sustainable Development Model Initiatives 


15 October 2012, Dubai, UAE

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to welcome you at the ITU Saving Lives Pavilion where the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, Brahima Sanou, is launching two key initiatives that will contribute to the Sustainable Development Agenda. He will soon tell you more about these initiatives.

The two initiatives are being launched here on the occasion of the ITU TELECOM World 2012 event, at a tine when ICT uptake continues to grow rapidly. The number of mobile cellular subscriptions increased last year by more than 600 million (almost all of them in the developing world), to a total of around 6 billion or 86 per 100 inhabitants globally. By the beginning of this year, more than a third of the global population (around  2.3 billion people) was online. In the same period, the number of fixed-broadband subscriptions climbed to almost 600 million, corresponding to a global penetration rate of 8.5 per cent.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is clear that we are increasingly moving towards the Knowledge Society. However, for all these figures to mean something, they must be seen to be changing people’s lives for the better.

This is why for many years we have been promoting Universal Access to ICTs. For we know that this will fuel society’s journey towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, leading to the eradication of global poverty by 2015.

Many of us share the feeling that the world will not be able to meet the Millennium Development goals in health without e-health; in education without e-education; and that government services will not be able to be provided without e-government services.

As we meet here this afternoon, I urge you all to be open for partnership building – bearing in mind that together we can achieve so much more.

We often say: Mirror your partner’s dreams; then the relationship will grow.

I hope we manage to do that today.

Thank you.