Poland (Republic of)

H.E. Ms Malgorzata OLSZEWSKA
Undersecretary of State
Ministry of Administration and Digitization

20 October 2014

Your Excellencies,
Distinguished participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure and privilege to be here with you.

On b​ehalf of the Republic of Poland, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the government of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning for hosting this event. 

Let me also express my genuine appreciation to the current ITU management. Dr Toure has mentioned on several ocassions that what one leaves behind matters most. You have done a terrific job and you deserve a great round of applause. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are all truly privileged to be working in a sector which offers almost unlimited potential. ICT is an engine for growth, efficiency and productivity increase. We are all well aware of that, aren`t we? I guess we might have NASA representatives in the room. If so, they could surely confirm that it is not rocket science. One does not need to be a Noble Prize winner to understand the role of ICTs, but … it takes wisdom and the right people to turn words into action. 
Let me show you our Polish example:
Over the last 4 years, with Poland as an ITU member, my government has developed numerous projects aimed at shaping the Polish economy and society to meet the demands of the digital smart world. Today Poland is the biggest construction site of broadband networks in Europe. 

All indicators have been skyrocketing. 

One may ask how we have done it. The answer is quite simple: the best people at the most important, decision-making positions. One of the leaders of those socio-economic changes in Poland, our true "engine for growth" is Magdalena Gaj. 

Thanks to her dedication and hard work we have managed to get things done, in a smart way. As a result, today 37 million people benefit from digital TV and its value-added services. 

In 2013, almost 88% of households had access to the Internet and their share is growing each year. More than 10 million households enjoy broadband access and by 2020 this number will have doubled. In addition, more than 56 million mobile cards are active, with penetration at the level of over 148%, making mobile broadband through 3G or 4G technologies accessible and affordable to all. 

The total length of infrastructure built in 2013 was over 7.1 thousand km and the length of the developed network was over 25% higher than planned. 

In 2014, we plan to construct nearly 7.5 thousand  km more of infrastructure. 

On top of that in the last four years most cities have installed free WiFi in all the public places and invested in the development of smart applications.

On the one hand, we are transforming analogue cities into smart cities. On the other hand, we keep empowering citizens through ICTs.  

Also we look after those who need help in becoming real e-citizens. Therefore, we have launched a project called the Lighthouse Keepers, which in 2012, thanks to the WSIS Prize became a real showcase. 

Day-to-day over 3000 thousands volunteers help to build e-skills of the Polish people. 

The oldest one is 80 years old and the youngest is 16. I am confident that with that kind of support the smart world will happen in Poland!

Taking all that into account, it is my great pleasure to announce that the Republic of Poland is a candidate for the re-election to the ITU Council from Region C. 

In addition to that, the Polish candidate, who is already well known to most of you, Mrs Magdalena Gaj runs for the post of Deputy Secretary General of ITU. 

Magdalena, a lawyer, former Deputy Minister responsible for telecommunications and now President of NRA, is instrumental in bringing ITU into the new era, and

in bringing a breath of fresh air into the organization. She has had significant impact on my country, so I am convinced  she will do the same for the entire world, ​​​​​with our support.

I really do hope that we can count on your trust and with your help we can transform our planet into the smart world.