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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development

Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao​

2015 Launch Meeting : Closing Remarks

26 September 2015, New York, USA

Distinguished commissioners,
Ladies and gentlemen,

We are delighted you all came today for the launch of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, and I should like to thank you all for your time, energy and ideas.

This has been a very promising start to the new Commission, I think we have a very promising basis here on which to build.

We heard from the President of Costa Rica as to how he sees broadband as integral to meeting not one, but many, of the core challenges facing his country – jobs, economic growth, giving his youth education and opportunities.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me say again how much I have appreciated meeting all the known faces, as well as the new Commissioners here today, bringing all their ideas, insights, resources and energy to the cause of 'Broadband for All'.

We've heard some very good ideas, and now the Secretariat will take the time to reflect on them, digest and consider, before incorporating your ideas into our updated strategy document. I also welcome the idea of the new Working Group on Content Platforms, I should like to commend Jeff Sachs for his excellent suggestion and propose him as Chair.  Anyone who is interested in participating should contact the Secretariat.

And I should like to thank Dr. Ann Aerts for her proposal for a Special Focus Group on broadband and health, which is another excellent proposal. I hope it can take into account some of the work of the previous group on this subject. So we'll have to consider carefully where we can best spend our resources.

As I said this morning, and I'll say it again, there is still plenty of good work ahead of us to prove that broadband can provide answers to some of today's most pressing problems – indeed, that's why we are here today for the launch of the new Commission.

And I look forward to your continuing enthusiasm for the Commission's work over the coming months.

This year is ITU's 150th anniversary – we invite you all to our Gala Dinner tonight, which will be the next opportunity – six Prime Ministers and six Heads of State will join us. And I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Thank you very much.