Thank you Mr. Chairman,
Excellences, the Secretary-General of ITU, Ministers, Distinguished Delegates, and Ladies and Gentlemen;
On behalf of the Government of Papua New Guinea, I offer my congratulations to you Mr. Min, on your appointment as chairman of this very important Conference.
I would also like to extend my appreciation to the Secretary General and the staff of the ITU for successfully organizing this very important Conference, and to the Government of the Republic of South Korea and the Busan City Authorities, and its people, for hosting this highest Forum of the ITU.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
By the end of this Forum, we will have set a direction and a clear path moving towards 2020 under the vision and framework of "Connect 2020".
Therefore allow me now to share with you briefly key developments in the ICT sector in Papua New Guinea just before, and after ITU Plenipotentiary 2010.
These developments are very much in line with achieving the four complementary goals of Connect 2020, which is to accelerate the growth of ICT nationally, ensure inclusiveness through affordable access; and ensure sustainability and accelerated future growth of ICT.
Beginning in 2008, the Government of PNG adopted the landmark National ICT Policy 2008 that was primarily geared towards removing the barriers to market entry so as to liberalize the ICT market, and allow for greater competition in all sectors of ICT service provision.
The reforms, spurred on by the policy, brought about significant expansion in the provision of ICT services over the last six (6) years. Whilst fixed line growth was very minimal, access to mobile phones grew dramatically from a modest state of less than 10 percent of the population in 2010 to about 45 percent in January 2014, and prices for calls have fallen by about 65 percent.
The ICT Policy of 2008 also included the need to connect all our citizens that remain unconnected today. A rural communications program is currently being implemented as part of the universal access program of our Government aimed at bringing ICT services to underserved communities of PNG.
In late 2013, another key ICT policy, the National Broadband Policy, was adopted. The policy recognizes the role of broadband accelerating economic and social development objectives.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Under the framework of the National Broadband policy, Our Government is also embarking on a National Transmission Network through an established entity, in connection with PNG's world class Liquefied Natural Gas project.
Turning to developments in cellular mobile services, LTE spectrum license has been granted to mobile operators which will not only further extend the reach of ICT services and infrastructure, but also support the roll out of mobile broadband services in PNG.
The PNG Government has also set the target of year 2017 for switch over from analogue to digital terrestrial Television Broadcasting.
Our Government is equally aware of the threats and challenges brought about by the cyberworld and has recently adopted a National Cyber Policy which paves the way for the development of cyber legislation that will ensure a safe and secure ICT environment.
Whilst significant progress has been made in ICT sector, much remains to be done in connecting our people particularly advancing the broadband agenda. In this connection we believe that ITU will continue to be relevant and will provide guidance and direction in the areas of standards, radiocommunications and development.
Perhaps a particular focus of the Union in the next cycle should be to assist Member countries in reaching the noble broadband development goals that have been set by the ITU so that all mankind can share the benefits of ICT.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In concluding I take this opportunity on behalf of my Government, to congratulate and thank the outgoing Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Touré, for his brilliant and capable leadership in taking the Union to greater heights and indeed becoming very visible in the Pacific.
Our delegation looks forward to working with you all and I express our wishes for a successful conference.
Thank you for your kind attention; and
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.