• Thank you very much, Doreen
  • Carlos Slim, my friend, our co-chair, I am happy to be with you again after a long time
  • Houlin Zhao & Audrey Azoulay, co-vice-chairs
  • Distinguished Commissioners

I am happy to join you today and to welcome you to the fall meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.

We are honoured to be joined today by some special guests: Professor Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and, by video, Abdulla Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Let me also acknowledge the new Commissioners participating for the first time:

  • The Honourable Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados
  • Her Excellency Mercedes Aráoz, former Vice President and Prime Minister of Peru
  • Ambassador Courtenay Rattray, UN High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Countries, and Small Island Developing States
  • Mr. Majed Sultan Al-Mesmar, Director General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, United Arab Emirates
  • Ms. Rumman Chowdhury, CEO of Parity.io

A warm welcome to all of you.

Before we begin, let me just make brief comments.

The first is that digital cooperation needs to go beyond access to broadband.

We also need to close the gap in the adoption and use of affordable devices and services, in accessible content, and in digital literacy.

The second is to note the value in multi-stakeholder platforms that complement the work of the Broadband Commission, such as the Edison Alliance.

Harmonizing these initiatives would create useful synergies.

Finally, allow me to close by recalling that the strength of the Broadband Commission lies in the diversity of the perspectives that our Commissioners bring to the table.

The Working Groups, whose reports will be presented today, are one of the tools at our disposal for debating various ideas and options to fulfill our mandate.

In that spirit, the Broadband Commission should continue to be a forum to find consensus and speed up progress towards digital transformation.

On this note, I thank everyone for giving me your attention, and for participating today.