New York, 23 September 2012

Dr. Hamadoun TOURÉ Secretary General and vice Co-chair

Mr. Janis Karklins

Distinguished commissioners, ladies and gentlemen

I am happy to have been able to join you though very late for which I must apologise. I got caught up in some other activities away from here.Anyhow I had to do my best to come and make that apology for not being with you the whole day and join in your efforts for the hard work that has gone into today’s session.

As we come to the close of these discussions allow me to share some thoughts with you just building on what you have already done and expressed that takes our endeavors forward. We convened here in New York on the occasion of the UN General assembly to once again highlight the critical importance of Broadband in the global development agenda both now and post 2015 agenda. As Dr. Toure often remarks and I believe the UN Secretary General mentioned this in his video message to the commissioners over lunch, Broadband is a transformative technology, it is fundamentally changing the way we live in Rwanda and our vision 2020 we have embraced ICT as an engine of transformation. For over a decade now we have been leveraging technology for the benefit of our citizens and we have seen firsthand how broadband impacts everyday lives of our people.

I would like to commend all the commissioners for the tireless efforts in promoting Broadband through advocacy and tangible actions that bring the benefits of Broadband to people all over the world. I thank all those that contributed towards the broadband commissions report which was launched today as we try to achieve the 2015 set by the commission in support of the MDGs let us continue to mobilize governments and industries to ensure that broadband will have its rightful place on the post MDGs global agenda. I congratulate the commission on the decision made here today to establish a new work group focusing on women and girls in ICT and thank Dr Rizah Jafarri for the generous contribution that will help support this work group. This focus resonates very well with us in Rwanda and I believe widely across the continent and beyond. We have made practical steps to empower women and girls and even made constitutional provisions to ensure women are accessing opportunities actively including access to the opportunities provided by Broadband.

As we look to the future we realize that we need to do more and faster and the world is waiting and our people are counting on us whether it is central databases of crop yields and market information for farmers, integrated school curricular for pupils, medical records for doctors, entrepreneurial opportunities for the youth. The possibilities are limitless. Broadband is the future of shared opportunities and a medium for business transactions and cultural exchange. The work of the commission is at the forefront of making that future a reality and bringing this future closer sooner I think, we will be every body’s pride as we succeed in this endeavor. Once again my thanks to you and my apologies to you for not being with you earlier and even in his absence, I want to thank Carlos Slim; Co-chair of this commission for his dedication together with other team members that we work together and I look forward to continued team spirit and dedication as has already been displayed in many of our past activities. Most sincerely, thank you very much.