"Thinking about the future is also thinking about telecommunications"
Good morning ladies and gentlemen
First of all, I would like to thank the Korean Administration for hosting this Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 and for showing us their generous hospitality. At the same time, please let me congratulate the ITU authorities for the work, commitment and strong leadership put at the service of reaching the goals of this Union during this term. Of course, I would also like to express my strong support to the recently elected Authorities, through a democratic process.
Nowadays, we are at the imminent beginning of a new cycle at ITU, with renewed challenges to face and goals to set. However, I strongly believe that the most important thing is to work hard to reach the goals, in benefit of the international community, aware that a fairer and safer world will only be possible through greater equality among countries. But this requires putting into practice real multilateralism. The paradigm change in international affairs cannot be postponed. It is not enough to highlight the advances in telecommunications, nor the vertiginous dynamism required in the use of ICTs. What is needed within the framework of a renewed multilateralism is to bet on the actual construction of communications, above all, respectful of the national sovereignties as well of the global ones. The support to the development and strengthening of the technological sovereignty of each Member State must be the beacon for internationalism in this matter, as well as inclusive policies. And, in this respect, the developing countries must have a key role. There is no more space for new ways of colonialism; science and knowledge are liberation tools for the peoples. This is the path to follow, it is irreversible.
Since 25 May 2003, Argentina assumed the need to reinvent itself and to make each decision, both at national and international level, following this logic. Thus, in 2005, thanks to the active and strategic presence of the State, the satellite corporation "Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales" (AR-SAT) was created.
As a consequence of this decision, a few days ago Argentina marked a historical milestone in the field of telecommunications: the successful launch of "AR-SAT 1" from the French Guiana. It is the first Argentine satellite and it will provide television services, Internet access, and data and IP telephony services. This is a very special accomplishment since this satellite was designed, manufactured and tested in our country, thanks to the work of national scientists.
And not only that, the "device" is a symbol in many aspects:
This way, through specific public policies, the State is determined to guarantee the inclusion of the whole society, paying particular attention to minority sectors such as women, children, people with special needs and indigenous peoples.
It represents a proof of the implementation of public policies for the development of the national space industry, in a maximum expansion stage;
It serves the purpose of exercising space sovereignty, since the design of the footprints of ARSAT-1, reaching its top power over the national territory – including the Antarctic bases and the Islas Malvinas Argentinas – and it allows the provision of equal quality connectivity to all regions nationwide, thus being framed within the National State's public policies to reduce the digital divide;
It is the first satellite of the Argentine Telecommunication Geostationary Satellite System, a plan that implies the design and manufacturing of three satellites of our own and their putting into orbit and operation by Argentina with the aim to increase telecommunication capacities, make an effective and efficient use of the orbital positions assigned to the country by ITU, and foster the development of the space industry. Thus, we are planning to have Ar-sat 2 in 2015 and Ar-sat 3 in 2018.
Additionally, to guarantee the human right to communication, the State monitors a digital inclusion process, with the main goal of reducing the digital divide, by facilitating the democratic access to information and knowledge, the promotion of audiovisual contents, the respect for cultural diversity, the strengthening and development of the national industry, job creation and scientific-technological advance.
Also, through the scientific policy that Argentina has been developing since 2003, initiatives that contribute to the growth of telecommunications nationwide are under way, such as the repatriation of more than 1 000 scientists who do research, innovation and development-related work in and for our Nation, many times jointly with companies, cooperatives and telecommunication federations. In this framework, it is worth highlighting that from the Vice Chair held by Argentina in the Telecommunication Development Advisory Group (TDAG) we are promoting the deepening of the relationship among the Universities, primary and legitimate source of knowledge, and the work carried out by the International Organizations, mostly as regards the creation of technical standards.
For all these reasons, Argentina will keep on working to deepen the strategic and inclusive public policies that has been implementing over the last decade, convinced that there is still a lot to be done and the actions taken have allowed us to accomplish significant advances in a path believed to be the right one. We also expect to keep on strengthening the bonds with other countries to exchange knowledge and best practices.
To conclude, I would like to reinforce the idea that in the world of telecommunications the capacities of the States must also be strengthened, since they are the ones responsible for guaranteeing the social, cultural and economic equality of their citizens. At this moment it is necessary to build real multilateralism that can serve to reach the goals and objectives set by the international community in a balanced manner, in the framework of the Union. Argentina commits to have an active participation so that this can happen, since it is the key to the future.