Mr. Chairman, Mr. Secretary General, Your Excellencies
Dear colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen 

It is a great pleasure for me to be here, among friends, for the most important meeting of our organization and speak to you on behalf of the Government of Romania.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ITU Secretary-General, Mr. Houlin Zhao and the ITU Secretariat for the efforts put into the organization of this conference as well as the Government of the United Arab Emirates for hosting us in the beautiful city of Dubai.

Romania is one of the most experienced members of the ITU, having joined the organization in 1866, just one year after its creation and as a member of the ITU we witnessed the great changes which brought us from the telegraph to the Internet of Things, Cloud or 5G. And while the ITU changed and evolved, so did Romania, becoming an example of development in the electronic communications sector. The Romanian IT&C market is a very dynamic and vibrant one, reaching over 6% share in the Romanian GDP.

Romania has some of the most performant fixed broadband networks in the world and among the best in Europe. In 2017, the mobile broadband traffic doubled, making our country one of the fastest evolving markets in the world.

However, there is still work to do. We have small communities unconnected, but efforts have been made to cover these gaps. Just as an example, I would like to mention the Ro-Net project, which aims at building a national broadband infrastructure in disadvantaged areas, funded by the EU.

That is why Romania is so committed to ITU objective of connecting the unconnected and that is why, starting 2010, Romania gradually increased its contribution to the ITU, not only financially, but also in terms of human resources dedicated to the work of the ITU.

During the first half of 2019, Romania will chair the European Union Presidency for the first time since its accession to the Union in 2007. In this capacity, we consider that it is extremely important to work in close cooperation with ITU, for the benefit of the world-wide IT&C sector, especially in developing countries.

I would like to commend the efforts of ITU and Mr Zhao in the field of gender equality. Romania is also a gender equality champion at European level in the ICT sector, almost a third of our IT specialists are women and this trend is confirmed at all levels, starting with STEM students and going all the way up to the highest leader positions, as you can also see here in the ITU environment

Romania will continue to be the same trusted and open partner for all the ITU members, to act towards building confidence and achieving consensus on all major issues of the Union. Romania hosted important ITU events and chaired some of the most important meetings of the Union such as the 2013 Council session. I had the honour to chair the GSR this summer, where we had a very rich and interesting debate on the New Frontiers of Regulation, in the context of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. This topic is very close to my heart, as we, in Romania, are preparing to launch the National Strategy on 5G so please share with us your experience and opinion on this.

Romania has committed to support the work of ITU and our priority is to keep working close with all of you for our common goals. Together, we are stronger. So, we seek your support for Romania’s re-election as a member of the ITU Council from region C!

Thank You!