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Remarks by Chargé Allegra at a Reception In Honor of the 2017 ITU Council
May 19, 2017

Opening Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires Theodore Allegra at a Reception In Honor of the 2017 ITU Council
U.S. Mission Geneva
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Secretary General Zhao, Ministers, Excellencies, distinguished delegates – -welcome to the U.S. Mission.  It is an honor to host you to celebrate the 2017 session of the International Telecommunication Union’s Governing Council.

The United States believes that the work of ITU remains critical.  I suppose one could argue that the changes in information and communication technologies have driven ITU’s focus since it was established in 1865, but it is also arguable that the pace of such change has never been as swift as it is today.  So engagement in the Governing Council by the people in this room underscores your commitment to shaping, managing, and contributing to the future of telecommunications.

Whether it is opening spectrum for emerging technologies, setting technology standards to promote global interoperability, or helping to close the digital and gender divides – ITU is a critical international body playing a unique role globally. And the United States is proud to be a part of these efforts now, just as we have always been.  We embrace the opportunities to confront these challenges for the future together, and to contribute to ITU’s mission in partnership with you.

I would also like to take this opportunity to underscore our continuing commitment to put forward Doreen Bogdan-Martin as the next Director of the Development Bureau.  Many of you know Doreen well.  She has been with the ITU for more than 25 years.  She played a key role in the 1st Development Conference in Buenos Aires in 1994.  She started the Union’s work in regulatory reform, and she has advised governments on creating enabling regulatory environments.

For the last eight years, Doreen has led ITU’s Strategic Planning Department, where she has engaged with many of you.  She is committed to multilateral partnership of course, and she is equally committed to real innovation that will ensure connectivity for all.  In her life and in her work at ITU, Doreen represents the best of the United States’ expertise in technology, its passion for innovation, and its commitment to connect all parts of the world with both.  The United States strongly believes she is the right person, in the right place, at the right time, and with the right background, to make real contributions to ITU’s future successes.  And we will be proud to ask for your support for her candidacy next year, after we announce it officially.

Finally, and before we move to the less formal part of the evening – enjoying food, drink and good company – I would like to invite Julie Zoller to say a few words.  Julie is the State Department’s Acting Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, and I know she is well and favorably known to many of you.  So without further delay, Julie, the microphone is yours.