Mr Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Lithuanian delegation I would like to thank the United Arab Emirates Government for warmly welcoming us in Dubai and hosting this significant ITU event.

Lithuania has always been at the forefront of new communication technologies deployment. Taking a trip back to the history, the first telephone line in Lithuania was installed in 1882, that is only 6 years after the patenting of the telephone in 1876.

Today, having created a well-developed infrastructure, Lithuania has firm grounds for further development of information and communication technologies.

Recent data shows that 4G mobile internet connection has already covered 97% of the territory of our country.  Lithuania has every reason to be proud of the data transmission speed, as we enjoy high position in global ranking of mobile (19th) and fixed broadband (15th) speed. Last year 86% of households with the internet access used broadband wired and wireless fixed communications.

We continue with implementation of the Next Generation Internet Access Development Plan for 2014-2020 under which the coverage of 30 Mbps and higher speed internet access is being further nationally enhanced.

Radio spectrum that is governed by ITU globally is a profoundly important resource for every nation in many ways. When managed properly, it brings not only the economic benefit, but it is also important in shaping country’s political development values, as well as fostering the transformation in social life by including all groups of people all over the world into the global digital society.

We believe that radio spectrum should be continued to be managed in an impartial and transparent way. We are proud to offer to the ITU community the best of expertise in radio spectrum management we have by putting forward candidacy of dr. Mindaugas Žilinskas for the position of the director of ITU Radiocommunication Bureau.

Looking at the future, we have many issues on our agendas with developing of broadband networks and 5 G. It will take much efforts to make more spectrum available for development of innovative services, to ensure comprehensive mobile connectivity and global interoperability of 5 G, to set a strategic dialogue between the stakeholders.  

We see enormous potential of communication technologies as an enabler for growth, especially in less developed regions. Thus, Lithuania paid a significant attention to the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17). In 2017, Lithuania hosted the Regional Development Forum and the Preparatory Meeting for Europe in preparation for WTDC-17 and coordinated the European input to the above conference.

Dear colleagues, it is because we believe in the power of communications to transform our economies and our world. We count on your support during the elections to the ITU Council and stand ready to continue working with you in the Council for the second term, as Lithuania was first elected to the ITU Council in 2014.

There are many challenges ahead of us, both on a regional and a worldwide level. I believe that with our commitment, concerted effort and dialogue we will be able to address them in a constructive manner.

Thank you for your attention.