A very good day to everybody, whatever time zone you may find yourself in. I am happy to welcome you to this tenth anniversary meeting of the Broadband Commission.

I want to thank you all for taking the time to join us today, to share your knowledge and experience. Indeed, I thank you for your dedication throughout our time serving together on this Commission.

The first decade of the Broadband Commission has made a real impact by highlighting the transformational power of universal access to high-speed internet connectivity and smartphones. Ideas that seemed futuristic ten years ago are now mainstream.

The next decade will be about using digital tools to speed up the recovery from the Covid pandemic and make up some of the lost ground on the SDGs. We must become better prepared for future global health crises. Equal access to education has been very uneven due to the remaining digital divide.

Earlier this year, the United Nations Secretary-General launched a roadmap for an ambitious digital cooperation agenda. This initiative promises to further elevate the important work of the Broadband Commission, which has been made possible by the productive partnerships embodied within our diverse membership.

We stand ready to support the Secretary-General’s vision for digital inclusion as a cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals.

I want to take a moment to recognise ten new Commissioners by name:

  • Erik Ekudden, Ericsson
  • Filippo Grandi, UNHCR
  • Lacina Koné, Smart Africa
  • Hyeonmo Ku, KT Corporation
  • Pekka Lundmark, Nokia
  • Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Government of Ghana
  • Dongyu Qu, FAO
  • Andrew Sullivan, Internet Society
  • Mohammed Al-Tamimi, Government of Saudi Arabia
  • Makiko Yamada, Government of Japan

I also thank Doreen Bogdan for her usual good work leading us through today’s agenda.

Once again, you are most welcome, and I am looking forward to our discussion and happy to participate with you.