New York, 23 September 2018

It is a pleasure, as always, to join you to advance this important cause. Let me begin by thanking all of you who made it to Kigali in May for our last meeting. Your participation made the session quite productive.

I take this opportunity to welcome the new members of the Broadband Commission. We look forward to your valuable contributions. We are preparing to mark a new milestone, where half of the world’s people are accessing the Internet.

While this growth is not spread evenly across the world’s regions, it is nonetheless an encouraging development. 2/2 With more people online, we need to think through how everyone can access the digital content safely, and fairly.

To take full advantage of the latest technological innovations, we have to adapt rapidly, including more innovative approaches to policy and regulation. The best way to handle this, is through close collaboration among the key stakeholders, from government, the private sector, and the research community.

The two sessions today will address these issues in more detail. We are eager to hear from the experts gathered in this room. I would also like to commend the working groups, which will present reports today. Your work is a valuable resource, for policy-makers and industry.

Once again, I wish to thank you and welcome you. I have the honour to participate in this with you. I look forward to our discussion.

Thank you very much.