Yours Excellency Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General
Ladies and Gentlemen
A Very Good Morning and Namaste;
I wish to extend you all my warm greetings on behalf of the people and Government of Nepal and it is a great honor for me to participate in Plenipotentiary Conference of ITU in this beautiful city of Dubai.
First of all, I would like to congratulate Mr. Chairman, on his election as the Chair of ITU PP-18 and I would like to thank UAE Government for their warm welcome and gracious hospitality.
It gives me immense pleasure to express our views for the development of Telecommunication and ICTs, which has been considered as a crosscutting enabler for socio-economic development of the nation and to achieve my government’s vision: “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali”.
Under the new constitution, the Government has been formed after recently held election. The people’s mandate is very clear for a stable government and for the development of the Nation.
The Telecommunication Sector in Nepal is rapidly growing; having the telephony service subscription of 135.5% and the broadband subscription of 50% till date. In order to connect every district headquarter and provide broadband connectivity to the schools, hospitals, and local government’s offices we are planning to build Information Superhighway which will be completed by 2020. And it is expected that broadband services will be more reliable and affordable.
To achieve the nation’s vision, the Government of Nepal is working towards the development of ICT with the slogan, “Digital Nepal”. Currently, we are preparing the Digital Nepal Framework: focusing on eight sectors – Agriculture, health, education, urban infrastructure, energy, tourism, finance and connectivity. The framework aims to guide Nepal on its journey towards becoming a Digital Nepal.
The Government has formulated Broadband Policy and ICT Policy in 2015 in order to enhance Broadband Services in Nepal. Furthermore lots of initiatives are going on for the betterment of the use of ICT as a tool for socio-economic development, Currently, the government is planning to formulate Information Technology Act to deal with current issues, such as cyber security, digital signature, e-governance, data protection and security, child online protection and e-waste management.
Similarly, in order to avoid investment duplication and effective and efficient use of the telecom infrastructure, Telecom Infrastructure Sharing has been allowed and made mandatory. Also the government is planning to introduce 4G and 5G in a phased manner. Moreover, National Emergency Telecommunication Plan and Strategy for Making ICT Services Accessible for Persons with Disabilities have been prepared.
Nepal has very difficult terrain which is very expensive to connect. Thus, our plan includes the utilization of the Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (USO fund) effectively to connect the un-served area, specifically the remote, rural, and mountainous regions to connect by high speed optical fiber network. We are also working to utilize our own satellite orbital slots assigned by ITU.
In line with international best practices and strategic directions of ITU, we are continuously preparing and adopting our national policies, strategies, and regulatory frameworks. In this regard, I would like to convey gratitude for the continuous cooperation and support provided by ITU. I hope the cooperation and partnership will be further enhanced in the coming days for technology transfer, human resource development, and special arrangements for low income and landlocked countries.
In the end, I express full commitment of my delegation to engage constructively during the next three weeks and we are committed to strive towards achieving the vision, goals, and targets of Connect 2020 in cooperation with ITU.
Last but not the least; I would like to thank to all the delegates for their cooperation and patience.
Thank you and Namaste!!