Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining

22 October 2014

It is a great privilege on behalf of the Government of Jamaica to stand before you at this Conference.

First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the government of the Republic of Korea and the ITU Secretariat for the successful opening of the 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference.  I also congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, on your election to the chair and wish you every success as you lead the proceedings of this conference over the next few weeks.

Today we are at the cusp of the 150th anniversary of the ITU.  Indeed, the ITU, since its establishment in 1865, has served as a global focal point for governments and other stakeholders to work collectively to ensure effective and efficient communication as well as to advance technologically  through information and communication technologies - ultimately for the greater good of mankind. A living legacy of ITU's past endeavours is this ICT enabled society many of us live in today.        

In 1963 Jamaica, having only gained independence less than a year earlier, became the first English speaking Caribbean country to join the ITU.  Since then we have actively worked alongside the ITU to create a better future for the people of Jamaica.   Recent examples of the collaboration include:
Today, over 50 years later and as Jamaica advances as a country, we are focused on achieving new paradigms in telecommunications and ICT's.  As such we will be seeking to further modernise and transform the ICT framework in Jamaica through the implementation of new and proactive policies as well as the enactment of new laws which support our bourgeoning digital economy.  

The Government of Jamaica therefore continues our support for the ITU as the leading telecommunications and ICT organization in the world and encourages the improvement of its performance in adapting to the needs of a rapidly changing telecommunications and ICT environment. 

We encourage the ITU to expand existing programmes and to establish new programmes which will focus on the developmental needs of small island developing states (SIDS) which tend to be very vulnerable to climatic as well global economic shifts. 

We also encourage the ITU to continue to support the work of regional institutions such as the Caribbean Telecommunications Union which do significant work in support of SIDS. Better use of ICT's, we know, can contribute to the resilience of our economies to withstand the negative impacts of global, environmental and climatic events. 

While we recognise that more needs to be done, we pause to celebrate along with the rest of the world the significant milestone in the history of the ITU, a truly global agent of change and development.  For the ITU's legacy to continue to have meaning and to bear even greater fruit, our collective action  through our deliberations and actions at this and future plenipotentiary conferences must result in a world where all can aspire to and do achieve a better life appropriately aided by ICT's. 

Finally, I encourage Delegates to support the candidacy of Cuba and that of Barbados for seats on the Council in Region A. 

Thank you for your attention.