Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

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

Council Working Group Strategic Plan and Financial Plan
Opening Remarks

27 February 2014, Geneva, Switzerland​

Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be with you this morning for this important third meeting of this Council Working Group – and let me take this opportunity right away to express my gratitude to our Chairman, Mario Canazza, and the Vice-Chairs: Hyangsuk Seong, Frederic Riehl, Nasser Al Marzouqi, Egidius Mbarara, and Igor Gurianov.

We appreciate their valuable guidance. Indeed, let me congratulate you all on the progress achieved so far; and thank you for the high-quality contributions that ensure ITU’s activities will continue to deliver maximum value to our Membership.

I would also like to thank the Sectors in particular for their work and inputs, enabling us to ensure that their unique value is fully taken into consideration while planning the overall strategy of the Union.

As you know, ITU is the first UN agency to conduct Public Consultations in the elaboration of its Strategic Plan, and it is a testament to the work of this group that we have managed to gather views and inputs from all stakeholders in this process.

This demonstrates ITU’s commitment to openness and transparency, and is something we can all be proud of – and I look forward to hearing the results of the second Public Consultation, later today, which was carried out by this group.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are all aware of how important the work of this group is for the Union:

Both plans aim to provide a comprehensive and concrete framework for the fulfilment of ITU’s Vision and Mission, as well as the achievement of ITU’s strategic goals.

The Strategic Plan is the primary document setting the basis for the realization of ITU’s mandate, based on Membership’s expectations; it directs our efforts to best serve everyone; and identifies challenges and risks we should be prepared to meet.

In the second decade of the 21st century, the ICT sector has become nearly ubiquitous across the whole planet, with as many mobile cellular subscriptions as there are inhabitants, and almost all the world’s people now within easy reach of ICT services.

And yet we still face tremendous challenges – because while we have bridged the original digital divide, a new one has already opened up; with two thirds of people in the developing world still offline.

This is not simply a matter of connectivity for connectivity’s sake: it is a question of global justice and a moral imperative for each and every one of us. We simply cannot deny the undisputed social and economic benefits of advanced ICT services to well over half of the world’s people.

As we succeed in bringing all the world’s people online, we also need to ensure that we overcome the challenges arising from ICT development, including reliability, environmental sustainability, and confidence and security in the use of these new technologies.

It is also important for us to foster and embrace new innovations and developments in this incredibly complex, dynamic and forward-looking sector.

Distinguished colleagues,

All three sectors of ITU – with our collective commitment to connecting the world – are working together to make a difference.

In the context of ‘One ITU’, the Strategic and Financial Plans will determine the roadmap for us to play our role in ensuring that ICTs foster inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development in a truly interconnected world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Since we held our second meeting last November, a substantial amount of work has been undertaken by all stakeholders. This is reflected in the high quality of the contributions submitted by Member States to this third meeting, and by the valuable inputs to the Public Consultation.

The proposed Strategic Plan builds on the strong and solid foundation of the 2012-2015 Plan, as well as on the inspiring results and achievements we have managed to accomplish through that, and the lessons we have learned while implementing it.

The proposed Plan sets an ITU-wide vision, mission and set of values, representing: the better world we want to see; our core focus as an organization; and the common beliefs it is grounded upon.

The Plan contains Union-wide strategic goals and related targets. These are the proposed ‘Global ICT Targets’, which can only be achieved if all stakeholders work together; they represent the impact of the work of the Union, and the change we want to see in the world!
We should all be proud for setting such targets, and we should inspire the whole world to achieve them!

Our Sectors – which deliver the unique richness of our Union – all contribute with their remits and valuable expertise to the overarching goals: through their objectives, outcomes and outputs, as well as the inter-sectoral ones.

Success is delivered under the umbrella of the Results-Based Management framework, to which ITU is strongly committed. Through its support processes, the secretariat in this framework provides all the enablers to ensure that the Union successfully pursues its goals and objectives.

The Strategic Plan also sets a series of implementation criteria to execute ITU’s strategy, ensuring:

The proposed Financial Plan, already presented and discussed in the Council Working Group on Financial and Human Resources earlier this week, establishes the foundation for the Union to support the proposed strategic framework.

I would like to thank CWG FHR for its very constructive work and, and to encourage this Council Working Group to build productively upon it.

Distinguished colleagues,

Your work here is important not only for ITU, but for the future development and growth of telecommunications and ICTs around the world – in both developed and developing countries.

I therefore look to you for your experience and wisdom.

ITU is you.

The Union is your Union.

It is therefore up to you to determine how ITU can assist in meeting your priorities over the coming years, and how ITU can deliver the most value to you.

The results of your work will be presented and discussed in the 2014 session of Council in May, together with any further inputs from WTDC-14, which will then feed into the 19th Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Korea, in October.

As the ITU’s top policy-making body, PP-14 will set our general policies, adopt four-year strategic and financial plans, and elect our senior management team.

What we achieve at PP-14, will not just affect the future of ITU and ITU’s work: it will affect the lives of everybody on the planet, in one way or another.

So the work of this Council Working Group is incredibly valuable, as it shapes the roadmap to be decided by PP-14.

In closing, let me therefore once again thank you for your work in this Group; encourage your attendance and participation at WTDC-14, Council, and PP-14; and let me wish you a very productive and fruitful meeting.

Thank you for your attention.