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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

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

World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium 2013 

 Closing Ceremony

06 December 2013, Mexico City, Mexico


H.E. Mr José Ignacio Peralta, Undersecretary of Communications and Transport, Mexico.
Mr Gabriel Contreras Saldivar, President, Federal Institute of Telecommunications, Mexico,
Mr Brahima Sanou, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU,
Distinguished colleagues
Ladies and gentlemen,

What an incredible three days we have had here in Mexico City! I can hardly believe that the time has already come to close this symposium, which has been so stimulating, so informative, and so productive.


As we close this symposium, let me make special mention of:
  • The Ministry of Communications and Transport, who extended the invitation to us to hold this Symposium here in Mexico;
  • The Federal Institute of Telecommunications, for hosting the event and for making it all possible; and
  • The ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, which has brought together so many experts and professionals to this annual gathering.

A tremendous thank you to you all – let me ask for a round of applause in appreciation!

Your work – both behind the scenes and front of house – has been crucial to the Symposium’s success.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The ICT sector is evolving faster than any sector in human history, and the role of this annual Symposium is to make sure that we are up to the challenges:

  • The challenge of measuring the rapid evolution and change going on within the sector; and
  • The challenge of making sure that data, statistics and indicators are internationally-harmonized, and internationally-comparable, so that we can paint a clear and impartial picture of the telecommunication / ICT sector. So that we can paint a unique and universal picture.

In some cases that means retiring out-dated indicators; and in others that means creating new indicators – as well as revising and modifying existing indicators as necessary.

We need to do this because the eyes of the world are upon us:

  • The results of our work are scrutinized by policy makers around the world;
  • They are scrutinized – and indeed re-published – by other influential institutions such as the World Bank and the World Economic Forum;
  • And they are scrutinized – and acted upon – by investors.

As the Symposium Chair, Luis Lucatero, said at the beginning of the week, at the opening of the meeting of the Expert Group on Telecommunication and ICT Indicators: “The biggest enemy of investment is information asymmetry”.

Our job is to help policy makers; to help influential institutions; and to help investors.

Because in the end, what we all want is to bring the benefits of affordable connectivity to all the world’s people, wherever they live.

And that requires sound policy; strong advocacy; and solid investment.

Distinguished colleagues,

This 11th World Telecommunication and ICT Indicators Symposium has broken new ground.

It has brought together speakers and panelists at the highest level to share their views and we have heard many passionate presentations over the past three days.

Best practices have been shared, and many important questions have been asked.

This community has engaged on many important issues, including the need to ensure that ICTs are given much greater prominence in the UN’s post-2015 development agenda, as catalysts of broad social and economic development.

We all recognize that this will mean setting new goals and new targets, and measuring these with new indicators – including a new goal for ICTs itself.

Because while ICTs are absolutely essential in helping deliver on all development goals, they are also a development goal in themselves.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We live in an extraordinary and unusual era.

For the first time in human history we can envisage a world where we have eliminated extreme poverty.

And ICTs are the lever that can make that happen.

This is not just a prescription we see coming from so-called experts in the rich world – it is recognized by billions of people in developing countries.

People around the world are working hard for access to ICTs, and are even making real sacrifices in exchange for access.

Indeed, this week we heard that some of the world’s poorest people are already giving up a third meal now – in order to ensure three square meals a day tomorrow.

So let me close by thanking each and every one of you for the part you are playing – and will continue to play – in making the world a better and a fairer place, for all the world’s people.

Thank you – and let me wish you all a safe journey home.

Thank you.