PP-14 Speeches

International Telecommunication Union

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

7 November 2014 - ITU Plenipotentiary Conference Closing Ceremony

Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

What an incredible three weeks we have had here together!

Three weeks ago, we were honoured by Korea’s President, Her Excellency Park Geun-hye, who noted that we had reached an inflection point in the hyper-connected digital revolution – and that we needed to address the global ICT gap “so that telecommunications and ICT can serve to improve human rights and welfare for all humankind, irrespective of region, country, gender or class.”

The president expressed her hopes that PP-14 would provide the impetus we need to mobilize concrete action and cooperation so that the hyper-connected digital revolution benefits us all – and I think we have done an excellent job in that regard.

As I said three weeks ago, in my opening speech, the Republic of Korea, as a global leader in terms of ICT development, is really the perfect venue for this edition of the ICT Olympics, and our Korean hosts have indeed been truly inspiring here.

We are very grateful to the Ministry of ICT and Future Planning for hosting the Conference, and to Minister Choi Yanghee, who drew attention to the Connect 2020 vision in his opening speech at the conference – emphasizing growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, innovation and collaboration as the future direction of global ICT development.

We are also very grateful to the City of Busan, which has provided such an excellent setting for this Conference, and I must agree with the Mayor, Suh Byung-soo, who told us right at the beginning that while all four seasons are beautiful in Busan, this is the most beautiful season of all – the season of Plenipotentiary!

I am incredibly proud to be an honorary citizen of Busan, and I know that the next Secretary-General of the ITU, Houlin Zhao, is proud too that this great honour was also conferred on him on Tuesday.

Please expect both of us to come back soon!

Distinguished delegates,

Here within the walls of Bexco, you have worked hard to make a better future, and to set the stage for a world where everyone can benefit from easy and affordable access to ICTs.

Many of you have worked late into the nights and through the weekends, and I’m sure that like me, Bexco almost feels like a second home to you now.

I am sure that this is also true for the Conference Chair, Min Wonki, who has done such an excellent job of steering this Conference to its successful conclusion.

Mr Min: I am honoured to have been beside you throughout these extraordinary three weeks – you are a true friend of ITU!

Distinguished delegates,

Before I close these brief remarks, let me return once again to the beginning of PP-14, and remind us of the words of the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, who asked all of us at PP-14 to: “continue to work together to harness the power of technology to create an accessible and sustainable future for all.”

This Conference has written amazing fresh pages of history that we will be able to look back on with pride.

So let me close now with words that were spoken not three weeks ago, but more than two thousand years ago, by the Roman poet, Horace…

Horace, who said – in Latin – “Pactum serva!”, which translates as “Keep the faith!”.

Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am counting on all of you, each and every one of you, in the true ITU spirit – to keep the faith!

Keep the faith!

Thank you.

Let me now invite the Mayor of Busan, Suh Byung-soo, to join me here, in recognition of his exceptional support and warm welcome of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014.

[Presents ITU gold medal and certificate]

And now let me invite our Chair, Min Wonki, to join me here, in recognition of his outstanding contribution in support of the activities of the International Telecommunication Union and for his Chairmanship of the Plenipotentiary Conference 2014.

[Presents ITU gold medal and certificate]