Mr. Chairman,
Secretary General Mr. Houlin Zhao,
Honorable Ministers,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen: 

The world today is a connected one, thanks to the pivotal role of the ITU. In this world, innovation, creativity, and the common will of different players and stakeholders, in spite of their differences, shine a glowing light for a better future. We have witnessed that whenever there was cooperation amongst all players and stakeholders, better and more efficient results have been produced for the benefit of mankind.

Rapid expansion of communications, in terms of inventing advanced technologies and creating new services and applications, has provided us with both opportunities and challenges. It is in this context that the ITU as the specialized agency of the United Nations can play a positive and important role in shaping the future of communications; and it is the policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to participate actively and constructively in different activities and fora organized by the ITU.

Honorable Ministers:

I am happy to inform you that our focus is on utilizing ICTs to meet the challenges we are facing in other sectors, namely severe and prolong drought, energy and fuel consumption, urban and long distance transportation, public health and medical services, and improved financial services, among other things. We are fortunate that with enthusiastic partnership by our well-educated youth and creative private sector, Iran has leaped forward in improving efficiencies in many important areas, in creating new job opportunities, and in increasing the national wealth. In doing so, we are relying on our indigenous capabilities, but welcome opportunities for international cooperation as well. I want to use this august gathering to invite all interested parties, both governmental and non-governmental, to join us for the benefit of all. By the grace of God, we have developed and utilized new advanced technologies in different fields; and firmly believe that by way of enhancing international cooperation, together we will be able to create a better world.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates:

It is with much pleasure that I am informing you that in the past 5 years, we have invested 5 Billion USD in our ICT infrastructure. As a result, the ICT market size has grown from 6.3 Billion USD to 13.3 Billion USD, the number of mobile broadband users has increased from a mere 300,000 to 65 Million, all cities are provided with 3G and 4G mobile services, 60 per cent of 42,000 villages and rural areas with more than 20 families are served with broadband mobile services, and our international Internet capacity now exceeds 2 Tera bits per second. Our focus in future is on digital economy, which we consider as the enabler for creating national wealth and improving the quality of life.   

One area that needs additional effort is regional cooperation and enhanced connectivity between neighboring countries. In many cases, communications between adjacent countries are routed via indirect links in other continents. This is very inefficient and costly, and we hope that ITU can facilitate direct connectivity between neighboring countries.

Mr. Chairman, Honorable Ministers:

Communications and information technologies are instruments of creating wealth. We have observed that in many instances in the past, wealth-creating industries have been used as instruments of warfare. We should remain vigilant to maintain ICTs as instruments of peace and not as tools of hegemony and unilateral impositions.    

Distinguished delegates:

I am also happy to inform you that the Islamic Republic of Iran has put forward its candidature for membership in the ITU Council for 2019 to 2022; and I am asking for your positive votes that would provide us with the opportunity to participate actively and positively in the works of the Council and to contribute by working towards consensus as has been the case in the past.

Mr. Chairman:

I am confident that with your able and wise chairmanship, this conference will become a successful one. I wish all participants a pleasant and productive conference. Furthermore, I wish to thank the host country for organizing this important conference and the Secretary General and the entire secretariat for their efforts. I also wish to use this occasion to warmly congratulate the newly elected ITU officials on their new elections, and emphasize that as in the past, we will cooperate with them.

I thank you for your attention.