Mr. Chairman,
Your Excellencies,
Honorable Ministers,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Distinguished Heads and Members of Delegations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr Chairman, I would like to congratulate you on your election as Chairman of this Conference and for your excellent leadership.

On behalf of the Greek Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media, I am deeply honored to have the privilege of addressing this Statement at the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union, here in the beautiful city of Dubai.

Greece recognizes the importance of telecommunications and ICTs and plans to accelerate development and contribute in the digital transformation of our societies, paving the way for sustainable growth, so as to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations.  As a founding member of ITU and elected member of the Council in Region B the last two consecutive periods, we are committed to continue contributing to the work of ITU and respond to the major challenges of telecommunications, which is consistent to our policy to “Ensure that no one is left behind”.

Since the beginning of this year, there was an evident improvement of our economy and our Government has managed to overcome the implications of the financial crisis, that first appeared in 2010. By tackling these implications, we are now eager to proceed with the implementation of our policy, in the framework of our strategic plans in all fields of development.

One of these policies is our objective to make Greece a Smart Nation. The mission of our Ministry is the country's digital development, including eGovernment, broadband infrastructures, the digital single market and the development of the ICT industry.  We have established the National Digital Strategy 2016-2021, which is the road map and the framework for digital development of Greece. It sets the vision and specifies the areas of intervention, so that Greece, by 2021, will be consistent with the European digital map.

In this framework, we consider Broadband as a pillar of Sustainable Growth and an engine of development. The National Broadband Plan reflects our vision and is consistent with the implementation of the Gigabit Society. Presently, we are implementing broadband activities that are incorporated in the NGA plan for the whole Greek territory, consisting of 700€ million Public and Private Investments on building reliable fiber networks, delivering gigabit connectivity to households and SMEs.

In recent years, Greece has been particularly active in the field of space. Throughout our participation in the European Satellite Systems Galileo and Copernicus, but also via our newly established Hellenic Space Agency, we promote the use of satellite data and services for implementing sustainable communities.

At European level, we participate in various dialogues for policy, like 5G deployment, cybersecurity, and ICT standardization. We have made collaboration agreements with European countries to implement large-scale-projects that will include interoperable applications across our borders. One of these is the joint agreement with Bulgaria and Serbia to develop experimental 5G cross-border corridors that will allow pilot testing of driverless vehicles. Regarding 5G, this year our Secretary General of Telecommunications and Post has signed MoUs with three Greek Cities to deploy 5G networks.

Our Ministry does not only support ITU’s regional presence in Europe, but also at international level and particularly in the UN. We have submitted an Information Document, which is a report on two major events that took place this year. Last month, we hosted in Athens an ITU Forum on 5G and in July, we co-organized with ITU, UNECE, UNESCO and the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates, a side event on Smart and Sustainable Cities during the High Level Political Forum of the United Nations in NY.

Reaffirming our dedication and strong commitment for bridging the digital gap and supporting ITU’s position in the United Nations, through Council membership, Greece will continue to contribute to the work of the Union in order to promote ITU’s leadership in the sector of telecommunications and ICTs at global level. In this context your support will be highly appreciated.

On behalf of the Greek delegation I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the United Arab Emirates for their warm hospitality and wish a successful Conference.

Thank you