of the Republic of Azerbaijan Speech on the occasion of the opening ITU WSIS +10 High-Level Event
Ladies and Gentlemen!
It is a great pleasure for me to deliver a policy statement on behalf of the Republic of Azerbaijan in this opening ceremony. WSIS+10 High-Level Event brings together all stakeholders of the information and communications technologies, industrial sectors, education and other fields which influence the Information Society Development with the aim of reflecting on how to transfer, diffuse and adopt the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) within the World context.
The WSIS +10 High-Level Event is aimed at creating a discussion forum for accelerating the building of ICT infrastructures and capacities for worldwide information societies and creates an opportunity for participants to share knowledge and experiences in the use of ICTs for the promotion of quality education through and improved teaching and learning process.
I wish to acknowledge, with appreciation, the role played by the organizers of this event, particularly the ITU, as well as to express our gratitude to all colleagues - participants of WSIS Forum and, personally, to Mr. HamadounToure for providing an opportunity to exchange our opinions and hold discussions on our vision of the WSIS Process.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to briefly inform you about development of the Information Society in Azerbaijan.
Nowadays, ICT has widely penetrated our lives and has turned into the most dynamic sector of the world economy.
Azerbaijan, as a country with dynamic economic development, is currently experiencing very rapid and intensive development of ICT. Today, one of the long-term goals in Azerbaijan is to invest the revenues from the oil sector to the development of the non-oil sectors, human resources development, and creation of the technologically capable, competitive and innovative economy. Keeping the pace of steady ICT development with diffusion and spreading to other sectors of economy is another goal. On 7th March 2014 by Presidential Order, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan became the new Ministry of Communications and High Technologies with expanded responsibilities and liabilities in the field of sustainable and innovative ICT development has been established.
In order to ensure long-term sustainable development of ICT, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, H.E. Ilham Aliyev, issued an Order adopting a National Strategy on Development of the Information Society for 2014-2020. For the realization of this Strategy, consistent and complex works are being conducted. Thus, the telecommunication infrastructure has been modernized by implementation of new technologies and services market has been strongly developed.
In 2013 Azerbaijan was declared as the Year of Information and Communications Technologies by the Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Action Plan has been prepared for ensuring the execution of tasks entrusted to the ministry.
The achievements in the ICT sector alongside the strengthening capacity of the country paved the way for us to present the number of regional initiatives on ICT.
In this regard, Azerbaijan initiated establishment of Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway which was supported by the special resolution of the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2009. This Super Highway is expected to serve as a major element of the East-West transport corridor while facilitating the supply direct access to the internet backbone and information resources in 20 countries of the region.
I would like to mention that our national "AzerspaceAfricasat1A" telecommunications satellite, itself, is a joint international product. The US-based “Orbital Sciences Corporation” was selected to construct the satellite along with the French “Arianespace” to launch it to the orbit on February 8, 2013. In the meantime, the Ministry came to an agreement with Measat Satellite Systems, to lease the GEO position at 46°E orbital slot and jointly operate the Azerspace/Africasat-1A. With the advanced design and switching capabilities of Azerspace-1 telecommunications satellite, millions of subscribers from over 50 countries can get access to information and communications worldwide. At the same time, we are working on expanding the country's satellite infrastructure network to launch a low-orbit satellite in 2015 for further monitoring and observation of the surface of the earth, and we are going to launch the second telecommunications satellite into orbit in 2016.
Azerbaijan with its high achievements in ICT field will further expand such activities and join international efforts in closing the digital divide. I hope that IT leaders and experts from international organizations and the private sector will hold productive discussions on ways to narrow the digital divide by sharing their experience and know-how.
Lastly, I would like to thank the speakers and panelists for their valuable contribution.
I strongly believe that this WSIS Forum, organized with high level of professionalism, would promote exchange of experience and information and bring new stimulus to the cooperation between countries.