It is good to remember that it is under the auspices of ITU that the liberalization of the telecommunication sector was launched in the mid-1990s with the Green Book for Africa, the Blue Book for Americas and the White book for the Arab States.
The liberalization led to the introduction of competition and the establishment of telecommunication regulatory bodies.
The Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) was created in the year 2000 as a forum for experience sharing with the aim of strengthening and stabilizing regulatory frameworks across the world.
Eighteen years later, things have changed and a lot more change is to come.
We are now in an era of digital transformation that is fundamentally changing our economies and societies and improving service delivery in many other sectors.
As we embark in using emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and, the Internet of Things (IoT) for accelerating the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, GSR is as relevant as it was when it was created.
The new challenges and the huge opportunities associated with them require coordination and sharing of best practices.
Innovative policy and regulatory measures are needed to respond to the changing landscape and to address the need for affordable and secure access and use of digital services.
As regulators, you need to keep pace with advances in technology and address the new regulatory frontiers.
The World Telecommunication Development Conference held in Buenos Aires, in October 2017, reaffirmed the importance of joining forces to build a new ecosystem of opportunities for all, based on access, affordability, collaboration, value creation, partnership building and innovation.
ICTs are affecting all sectors, and there is a need for collaborative discussions, collaborative regulatory approaches and joint implementation of projects.
We are already working with our sister UN agencies: UNESCO on education, WHO on health, FAO on agriculture, ILO on digital skills for decent jobs, UNIDO on innovation and World Bank on digital financial inclusion.
We need to look at the new ecosystem to make sure that ICTs are used for development and to advance the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their targets.