Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a great honor to be elected as chairman of the ITU's 19th Plenipotentiary Conference.
First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the trust you have placed in me to serve as chairman of PP-14.
I also would like to thank my Government for entrusting me with the responsibility to carry-out the duties of this important conference.
The ITU's mission to connect the world has been strengthened by every Plenipotentiary Conference.
Our 19th Plenipotentiary Conference has the honor to continue this tradition while also celebrating the ITU's achievements over the past 150 years.
Indeed, the ITU's accomplishments in radio spectrum, ICT standards, and ICT for development have helped bring telecommunications and ICTs to every corner of the world, and have enabled us to enjoy a level of connectivity and access to information never before witnessed.
The capacity of networks, depth of information, and speed of communication provided by ICTs are creating unprecedented opportunities and challenges for the global community.
Greater access to ICTs is connecting more people to e-government, e-commerce and e-health services, while new technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data and the Internet of Things continue to extend the boundaries of innovation.
However, as noted at WTDC-14, the digital divide has yet to be bridged and continues to reveal significant accessibility disparities between developed and developing countries, rural and urban areas, and groups of peoples.
These challenges need to be addressed through global initiatives that create equal and sustainable development throughout the world.
As we have seen over the past decade, ICTs are critical to strengthening sustainable economic and social growth, fostering innovation and achieving an inclusive Information Society.
This is why PP-14 is so important. With the ITU's 150th Anniversary on the near horizon, we come together at PP-14 with the opportunity to advocate for the inclusion of ICTs in the Sustainable Development Goals as ICTs are critical enablers of the development agenda beyond 2015.
To this end, in this Conference we will carry-out numerous tasks and make many important decisions; not least of which is the election of the ITU's leadership.
The issues and proposals to be addressed at this Conference will layout the ITU's agenda for the next 4 years.
The volume and importance of these topics require that we work together in full cooperation, and with a commitment to the ITU's longstanding tradition of consensus-building.
Having had the honor to participate in many of the regional preparatory meetings, and to see in person such cooperation and consensus, I firmly believe that we will come together to produce productive PP-14 outcomes.
Now, I will say a few words regarding the management of the Conference
In support of our effort to use our time most effectively I will issue a document which you may refer to, but allow me to highlight a few points now. I encourage all delegates to:
Distinguished Ministers and Delegates,
Complete Policy Statements in 3 minutes, as noted in Secretariat Circular Letter 200, while making every effort not to go beyond 5 minutes
Keep general interventions to the topic under discussion; and
Deliver election congratulations on a regional basis
We are now set to begin a 3-week journey that will pave the way for the future of the ITU.
I am confident that with your cooperation and commitment to consensus, together we will deliver a successful PP-14.
In closing, I wish you all a successful conference, and a most rewarding time in Busan, Korea.