Candid discussion charts course ahead for ICT industry as ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 sets sail

Date: Mon, 10/05/2009 - 18:16

Candid discussion charts course ahead for ICT industry as ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 sets sail

The doors of ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009, the leading global ICT industry showcase, opened today, 5 October 2009. Setting the tone for the week, the Opening Ceremony marking the start of the event called for a strategic dialogue with Heads of State, Ministers, policymakers and international experts to address the role of ICTs in economic recovery and in stimulating future investment and growth

The Opening Ceremony took place in the presence of (in speaking order):
•  David Hiler, Chairman of the Council of State, Republic and Canton of Geneva
•  Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU
•  Moritz Leuenberger, Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, Switzerland
•  Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
•  Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda
•  Wang Jianzhou, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, China Mobile
•  Saud bin Majed Al Daweesh, Chief Executive Officer, STC Group
Concluding the ceremony was a special video message by Nelson Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa.
David Hiler of the Canton of Geneva kicked-off the speeches and wished all participants a successful week at ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009. The finale of the ceremony was a video message from Nelson Mandela, who advised that "ICTs are the single most powerful tool we have for human progress." He urged participants to support efforts to connect the world and bridge the digital divide.
Dr Hamadoun Touré welcomed Heads of State, high-ranking officials, VIPs and visitors to Geneva and thanked the other six participants for their support. He made an impassioned speech calling on those present from the developed and developing worlds to recognize the business opportunity that the event offered. Developing countries were not, he said, coming to developed countries with a "begging bowl", but with "proposals which will work for the benefit of all." He called upon the developing world to "move beyond charity and aid, roll up their sleeves, get to work, and make business happen."
He was followed by Moritz Leuenberger, who welcomed the event theme ‘Open Networks – Open Minds’, emphasizing the integrality of ICTs to freedom of communication and insisting: "We must protect freedom of communication like we protect the environment."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke of the importance of ICTs in tackling core global issues such as climate change and called for participants to use ICTs creatively to usher in a new ‘green economy’ and to drive progress in improving the lives of those most in need.
Paul Kagame stressed essential role of technology in today’s world. "ICTs are an indispensable part of people’s lives and are now one of the major drivers of economic recovery," he said. He also stressed the rapidly improving investment climate in Africa, citing a recent World Bank report on doing business in Africa and his own country’s success attracting private sector investment in the ICT sector.
Wang Jianzhou of China Mobile highlighted the fast-changing technology landscape. "Ten years ago people could never imagine using a mobile phone to download music. Now a popular song can generate as many as 10 million downloads," he said. In the area of climate change, he cited China Mobile’s Green Action Plan, which will dramatically lower his company’s power consumption through advanced technological measures.
Saud Al Daweesh, Group CEO for STC, said: "It is a great pleasure to be part of ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009, especially among such distinguished participants, and to witness this high level of interest in telecommunications and in the IT sector. Our presence at this important event gives us a unique opportunity to exchange views, share experiences and get a first-hand view of key ICT trends. At STC, we are pleased to share some of our achievements and highlight the international experience we've gained from our fast-growing operations in ten countries around the world."

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