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

​Council Committee for the Preparation of the 150th Anniversary Celebrations
Opening Remarks

26 February 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to be with you here this morning to open this second meeting of the Council Committee for the Preparation of the 150th anniversary of ITU.

This Committee has been established to raise awareness of the important milestone in the rich history of our organization, which as you know was founded in Paris in 1865, as the International Telegraph Union, and which is still an essential partner in the complex world of ICTs today.

I am pleased to see that the prospect of these celebrations has attracted such positive interest and that this Committee has made good progress in its work.

The General Secretariat, with support from the three Sectors, has also advanced in its preparatory work to make the anniversary a success.

In particular, an inter-sectoral group has been established to develop a communication strategy and visual identity for the anniversary, as well as to assess the cost implications of the list of activities produced by this Committee.

I asked the inter-sectoral group to focus on activities that can be done in-house, to avoid cost implications for ITU. As a result, many of the proposed activities for the anniversary will be linked to ITU’s planned events for 2015, thus reducing overhead costs.

The Committee may now reflect on additional activities to be organized if further voluntary contributions are mobilized for the anniversary.

To conduct this exercise I would like to invite all of you to examine different options for funding by ITU Membership, so that the celebration can also leave a strong legacy for future generations.

The Secretariat has worked on a proposal that will be presented to the Committee today. To make progress with this approach, and following the instructions from Council, a Special Fund has been set up for collecting voluntary contributions from Membership.

I call upon the solidarity of all ITU Members to contribute to this fund.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me conclude these brief introductory remarks by inviting you to be innovative and resourceful in completing the work of the Committee in today’s meeting.

I am sure that you will succeed in this work.

Let me encourage you to produce an ambitious, but realistic timeline of activities that can inspire and motivate the whole world to continue working together for another 150 years of innovation, technology, and socio-economic progress.

And let me thank you all for your participation, and in particular the Chair, Nasser Bin Hammad, and the Vice-Chairs.

Thank you for attention, and let me wish you a most successful meeting.