Since this is my first time to attend and speak at a Plenipotentiary Meeting may I first of all acknowledge the traditional owners of Dubai on whose land we are privilege to hold these meetings.

Excellency Chairman
Secretary General
Colleague Ministers
Distinguish Guest
Ladies and Gentlemen 

Congratulation Chairman for been elected as Chair of the ITU Plenipotentiary Meeting 2018.

I bring warm Greetings to you all from the Government and people of the Solomon Islands.

It is both an honor and pleasure for me and my delegation to be here at these Plenipotentiary Meeting 2018 and I would like to convey my sincere gratitude to the Government of United Arab Emirate, Dubai Authority and ITU for convening this important meeting of its member states in this splendid and beautiful city of Dubai. 

Solomon Islands have experience challenges in our telecommunication developments, but at the same time we appreciate the benefits and opportunities that the ICT has provided in terms of social and economic developments.  

Despite the challenges and implications of the evolutions of the telecommunication technology, Solomon Islands will continue to pursue and embrace these phenomena in collaboration with the ITU, other member states and stakeholders to ensure this vibrant fast changing sector will continue to harness and maximize ICT connectivity and services for all our citizens in the future.

I am optimistic that technical support and advice will continue to be provided by ITU. The corporation between ITU and my government are important.

With many issues including geographical isolation, vulnerable to natural disasters, climate change, sea level rise, and cost of rolling out of telecommunication technology to rural areas, Solomon Islands and many Pacific island countries are in the coal front of many of these challenges.

Solomon Islands will have its first undersea optic fiber cable late next year 2019 and on this note I would like sincerely thank Australia for their valuable support in this regard. While we look forward to having a fast and affordable internet it also amplifies issues that we need to develop polices and legislation on to address these issues like Cyber security and data protection.

Solomon Islands is now implementing policies and has begun reviewing current legislation with the view of developing legislation to govern the challenges and digital divide that we are grappling with.

Hence Mr Chairman having said all of above, Solomon Islands come to this meeting with the mandate to ensure that those we vote for at this ITU election will be able provide the much needed service to such small island state as ours. Too often the small island state in the Pacific are left out because of our remoteness, our smallness and our distance further away from ITU on the other side of the globe.  

Mr Chairman when it comes to voting Solomon Islands has one vote as the rest of the ITU member states. But when it comes to the challenge of telecommunication technology our issues are many.

It is my call to those that will be elected into ITU positions to manage, administer and implement ITU policies in the next 4 years to keep its outreach program and assistance available and to continue effectively to provide capacity building and institutional strengthening to curb some of the challenges that we in the small island states in the Pacific region faces with regards to ICT and achieving our SDGs.

ITU needs to stay focus on its core functions and the ITU Goals so that small island states like Solomon Islands is not left behind in the internet of things.

In closing, I would like to wish all the member states and ITU candidates a success in the Plenipotentiary meeting and the upcoming elections and I look forward to the consensus outcomes that will strengthen ITU resolve to achieve its mandate with cooperation of all member states.

Ladies and Gentlemen

And I thank you one and all.