Statement from India on Secretary General Report on WTPF 2013 (May 2013)
At the outset, my delegation would like to thank the Secretary General of ITU for presenting a well analysed and informative report for the 5th WTPF.
2. Telecommunications/ICT has emerged as the primary means for all round development of humanity. This is as a result of significant technological innovations that have taken place at various levels over many decades. We wish to place of record the enormous contribution of International Telecommunication Union, which is the oldest international organization, in the promotion and development of telecommunications/ICT.
3. We believe that the World Telecommunication Policy Forums have provided a good platform for deliberation of new ideas and reach a broad consensus on emerging areas of common interest. This approach has enabled to take stock of current state of development of relevant technologies and to add a new leaf in further advancement of telecommunications/ICT in the modern technological context.
4. India, as the world’s largest democracy, attaches great importance to telecommunications/ICT. I am pleased to inform that in the National Telecom Policy (NTP) we have set an ambitious target of achieving 175 million broadband connections by 2017, and 600 million by 2020.
5. Internet is available in nearly every country and supports applications and services that touch on virtually all aspects of society. Information and communication infrastructure has become a critical resource for governments, a vital part of national infrastructure, and a key driver of socio-economic growth and development. Today, the Internet is becoming “one of the basic commodities of life” and should be considered as global as well as national public goods.
6. From this perspective the ITU Secretary General’s report for the 5th World Telecom Policy Forum has effectively captured various dimensions of the Internet governance, and also serves as a good reference point for further advancing our common endeavour to truly make internet an effective tool for common good.
7. India supports participation of all stakeholders in the global internet governance, in their respective roles and responsibilities as defined in the report of Working Group on Internet Governance Factors of governance such as Standardization, High Level Policy formulation, and management of critical resources require various levels of expertise and therefore, the stakeholders need to play specific role in accordance to their expertise, ability and mandates. It is imperative to establish a framework where stakeholders are enabled to fulfil their specific roles and responsibilities in the overall structure of global Internet Governance for the development and promotion of the internet in the larger public interest.
8. Draft opinions generated by the multistakeholders informal expert group during the preparatory process basically complement the efforts towards the development and promotion of infrastructure and capacity building as envisaged in the WSIS action lines. India supports the draft opinions as presented, although draft opinions 4,5,6 should refer to all the relevant paras of Tunis Agenda.
9. In this regard, India has been consistent in its stand on enhanced cooperation on the various UN forums including the UN General Assembly. Comission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as well as many other forums.
10. With a growing importance and dependence on Internet it has become all the more necessary to take necessary measures to ensure its safety, security and stability. While the Internet is fast becoming the socio-economic backbone of nations, exponentially growing number of cyber-attacks is eroding the confidence and trust of its users. We need to have a frank, open and thorough global discussion on how best to tackle this global menace of cyber threats. I understand ITU – T through its Study Group -17 is carrying out excellent job in formulating standards relating to security however India would also like to see that the WTPF – 13 also addresses the issue related to cyber threats.
11. Finally we understand that Dr. Toure and the ITU Secretariat are working under rules and procedures that have been set for them by us, the membership. India applauds the Secretary General’s efforts in opening the participation of all stakeholders in the preparatory process – which included both ITU members and non-members. We also commend the Secretary-General’s initiative to promote greater participation of all stakeholders in the Policy Forum. India assures ITU of its support and looks forward to constructive deliberations with our colleagues during the coming three days.