Mr Chairman,
Deputy Secretary-General,
Directors of the Bureaux,
ITU officials, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen.

It is an honour to be here with you, in Dubai, for the 2018 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. 

On behalf of the Australian delegation, I thank the ITU and our hosts for their wonderful hospitality.

Australia highly values the work of the ITU and we are proud of our longstanding involvement, having been an active ITU participant for over 100 years.

Australia is the 6th largest financial contributor to the ITU and a strong supporter of its work.

Australia shares the ITU’s Connect 2020 Agenda vision of an information society, where telecommunication technologies support social, economic and sustainable growth for everyone.

In support of this vision, we have a key priority of bridging the digital divide between those living in our cities and those living in regional and remote locations.

I’m pleased to say, Australia is on track to deliver broadband access to every Australian home and business by 2020.

Our new National Broadband Network has connected 4.2 million premises, and a further 100,000 premises are being connected each month.

Skymuster satellites are providing services to our remote areas, including small offshore islands and our external territories in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Tasman Sea.

We are also using new and innovative technologies to improve mobile phone coverage and competition in regional and remote Australia.

Our 5G trials are well advanced and are set to inform effective deployment of the next evolution of mobile technology from next year.

Australia understands the importance of working together to deliver global change.

Australia has supported regional ITU initiatives including cyber security capacity building and emergency telecommunications projects, to assist our regional neighbours.

To further support regional infrastructure, Australia will lay the Coral Sea Cable System, a set of high speed telecommunication cables, from Australia into the Pacific.

This will deliver faster and more reliable communications infrastructure, affording the Pacific region with economic and development benefits.

This aspiration of connectivity and accessibility to all is a key tenet of the ITU’s work.

By maintaining this focus, the ITU will be effective in supporting the achievement of the Connect 2020 Agenda and the ITU’s future Strategic Goals and Targets.  

Australia looks forwards to continuing our long-term commitment and work with the ITU to provide global connectivity and accessibility.

We also look forward to working together in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration to successfully complete the work of the conference.

Under your leadership, Mr Chairman, and the efforts of distinguished delegations, we are sure we will achieve many great outcomes at this conference.

Thank you.