To the participants of the Bakutelís 20th Anniversary
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen
It is a great pleasure to extend warm greetings to all participants attending the 2014 Bakutel International Exhibition and Conference on Telecommunications and High Technologies in Baku.
This 20th anniversary edition of Bakutel celebrates the outstanding ICT policy development achievements of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Not only has Azerbaijan been elected as a new member of the ITU Council at ITUís Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, South Korea, but it has also succeeded in meeting many challenges in achieving global innovations, and has restructured the Ministry of Communications and High technologies. Clearly, Azerbaijan is determined to expand the scope, vision and goals of Azerbaijanís ICT and innovation policy development.
The ITU remains committed to connecting the world, so that everyone has access to the full benefits of ICTs and can harness their vast potential in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and shaping the post-2015 development agenda. This is why we were instrumental in creating the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, along with our sister UN agency, UNESCO, back in 2010, and we are grateful for the support of Azerbaijanís Ministry of Communications and High Technologies.
Since the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003, when President Ilham Aliyev made his famous statement about turning ďblack goldĒ into ďhuman goldĒ, the achievements of Azerbaijan have been outstanding in all areas - including implementation, infrastructure, capacity-building, research and development, and investment, as well as international cooperation. The tremendous progress made in socio-economic development in Azerbaijan as well as in the ICT field in the first decade of the 21st century and the promising growth trend in the second decade is being sustained by the concerted efforts of the country under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev.
Bakutel has been and remains the annual forum of choice for industry leaders to come together and brainstorm on the future of ICTs, as well for the private sector to showcase their latest achievements and future plans.
Bakutel 2014 is further strong evidence of the importance of the ICT sector in Azerbaijan, and participants can expect to see many examples of cutting-edge applications, services and solutions, which will bring benefits across all sectors of the digital economy, including health, education, transportation, government and culture.
Let me therefore wish all of you and the Bakutel 2014 event itself every success, and I look forward very much to meeting you in Baku.
Dr Hamadoun Toure
ITU Secretary - General