SPEECH BY HON. PALUSALUE FA’APO II
MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION
THE INDEPENDENT STATE OF SAMOA
Ladies and Gentlemen
From the islands of Samoa, we say Talofa
lava and good morning! I bring you warm greetings from the
Government and the people of the Independent State of Samoa,
a Small Island Developing State, in the South Pacific.
We are extremely honoured and privileged
to be present here today at this Second Phase of the World
Summit on the Information Society, and we thank our hosts,
the Government and people of Tunisia, for the great welcome
and the kind hospitality.
The second phase of the World Summit on
the Information Society grants Samoa the opportunity of
actively being involved in the discussions over the concrete
measures designed for implementing the "Declaration of
Principles" and the "Plan of Action" adopted in the Geneva
The Government of Samoa offers her full
support for the World Summit on the Information Society and
we are committed to move Samoa towards the knowledge economy
and the Information Society.
Since the first phase of WSIS, which we
were also involved in, Samoa has developed her own National
e-Strategy and was officially launched in March 2005. I am
pleased to announce that, from that strategy, we are now
implementing some ICT projects in the rural communities in
collaboration with ITU and UNDP, and we are grateful for
their continuing assistance. We believe that ICT can be used
as a tool for promoting economic, social and cultural
development. The focus is also on using ICT to help achieve
the Millennium Development goals.
Information and Communication
Technologies have transformed the world into a global
village and has changed the way we do business, the way we
learn and the way we live. In today’s information age, ICT
has become essential to Samoa’s ability to be a player in
today’s global economy.
Current reforms in the Communications
sector, financed by the World Bank, has resulted in the
passage in Parliament of a new Telecommunications Bill in
June 2005, that would establish a new Regulatory Authority,
and introducing competition and private sector
participation. There has also been the drive by Government
through its national telecommunications operator to develop
the infrastructure backbone that will allow ICT to be
extended to the rural areas. We must try to bridge the
digital divide. Not only to provide knowledge workers for
the future knowledge-based economy, but also to create
citizens who are capable of enjoying the new digital era
that is upon us.
What we must remember is that we are all
here to help promote the quality of life of our peoples. We
firmly believe that ICT is the key if we are to move into
the future; a future of better understanding, and better
quality of life for all.
On Internet Governance, and the question
on "oversight", we support the current framework and
existing mechanisms, but recognizing there is scope for
improvement, we would support ongoing evolution of the
Samoa would support the creation of a
forum for dialogue, within or supported by an existing
institution, focusing on identifying new issues, raising
awareness and understanding, building capacity and building
commitment to action, particularly amongst developing
countries, on priority Internet issues, for example, the use
and misuse of the Internet.
The Internet is now an important global
means of communications and commerce, which is of critical
importance to peoples and governments of all countries, as
increasingly also vital to their national security.
Samoa offers its full support to the
"Tunis Commitment" as well as the "Tunis Agenda for the
Information Society" presented for the adoption by the
Summit. Samoa also supports the use of existing
implementation and follow-up arrangements to major UN
conferences and summits, for WSIS implementation and
For a small island developing state, we
do not have the resources to implement our national ICT
strategy and to fully take advantage of the benefits that
ICT can offer. Therefore we look forward to partnerships
with the international donor community, multi-lateral
agencies and development partners in order to achieve our
goals and vision.
In conclusion, access to Information and
Communication Technologies is crucial to development. ICT
have become so diffused in many social and economic
activities that it needs to be given top priority. Giving
access and helping people learn to use ICT is crucial to
prevent the expansion of the gaps between the rich and the
poor, leading to a better Information Society.
Thank you for your attention.