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OAS Secretary General Urges Member Countries to Be 21st Century Leaders in Telecommunications

  March 9, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today acknowledged the fundamental role of telecommunications in the integral development of the continent and urged Member States and participants of the Fifth Regular Meeting of the Assembly of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) to “make sure the people of the Americas don’t lost the opportunity to play a leading role in the 21st Century” in the area of telecommunications and information and communication technologies (ICTs).

The OAS Secretary General, who inaugurated the four-day event in Mexico City, recalled the transformational potential of telecommunications and ICTs in achieving the positive changes in society sought by regional governments and the OAS.

“It is absolutely necessary to expand access to telecommunications infrastructure and incorporate the use of ICTs to the various areas of activity that make up society,” the Secretary General said. “The challenges are enormous, especially at a time when the continent is slowly recovering from an economic crisis and the devastating attacks of nature. But no modern economy can compete or participate in the global markets without access to modern, safe and effective networks of information and communication.”

In his speech, Secretary General Insulza also identified some of the goals in the development of telecommunications and ICTs: access to all, including populations in rural or remote areas; the large-scale introduction of access to broad-band Internet, which he compared to the invention of electricity; the use of telecommunications in helping to prevent, prepare for, respond to and assist in catastrophes, whatever their nature; the strengthening of security in networks and in the transmission of information to gain the trust of consumers; and the ecological role that telecommunications and ICTs can play in reducing carbon emissions.

The Fifth Regular Meeting of the Assembly of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) will be held March 8- 11, 2010, in Mexico City. Information on the event’s agenda may be found here.

Established by the 1994 OAS General Assembly, the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) is the region's premier inter-governmental telecommunication advisory body. CITEL takes an agile, dynamic, and effective approach to promoting an ongoing exchange of information, knowledge, and the best practices on technical, economic, and regulatory issues, thereby contributing to the member states' efforts to facilitate and promote harmonious, comprehensive development of telecommunications in the Americas.

For more information please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-069/10