Hamadoun Touré, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), said the theme of this year’s event, “Hands On or Hands Off: Stimulating Growth Through Effective Regulation,” is particularly relevant in the context of the current economic crisis, when many governments are looking to the ICT sector to re-energize debilitated national economies.“In every field of human endeavour, and in every crisis we face, ICTs are part of the solution,” he told the opening of the Global Industry Leaders Forum.“ICTs are playing a pivotal role in helping us emerge from the financial crisis and in fuelling economic recovery. And ICTs are directly responsible for job creation in the Knowledge Economy,” he added. Sami Al Basheer, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, said he was proud the Bureau can offer this platform for the main actors of the ICT industry to “imagine, design, build and administrate the markets, networks and services that our citizens, businesses and governments require for their further development.“Today every country, no matter what its level of development, relies on ICTs for its economic and social development,” he noted. “The environment that enables new technologies to be used and shared by all can only be created through regulatory reform.”Delegates from more than 110 countries are attending the event, which also includes a three-day Global Symposium for Regulators, which begins tomorrow.Kamal Shehadi, Chairman and CEO of Lebanon’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and chair of this year’s Global Symposium for Regulators, praised ITU as a role model for effective public-private partnership. The Geneva-based agency’s membership comprises not only 191 Member States, but over 700 private sector members, who play an active role in ITU’s technical standardization, spectrum management and development work. 9 November 2009More than 750 policymakers from the world of information and communication technology (ICT) are meeting in Beirut at an event co-hosted by the United Nations telecom agency where they can share experiences and forge common approaches to navigating today’s complex ICT markets.