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ITU Activities in Asia Pacific

The ITU's activities in Asia-Pacific are centered around Regional Initiatives designed to address specific priority areas of particular importance to the region. Formulated and revised at successive World Telecommunication Development Conferences, the most recent of which was held in Buenos Aires in 2017 (WTDC-17). These regional initiatives leverages on creative partnerships to implement the range of small-, medium- and large scale projects outlined here
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What are the ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Initiatives for the next 4 years (2018-2021)? What are the objectives and what results to do they seek to achieve?​

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Asia-Pacific Regional Initiative 1:
Addressing special needs of least developed countries, small island developing states, including Pacific island countries, and landlocked developing countries

Objective: To provide special assistance to least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states (SIDS), including Pacific island countries, and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) in order to meet their priority telecommunication/information and communication technology (ICT) requirements.

Expected results
1) Development of policy and regulatory frameworks for broadband infrastructure, ICT applications and cybersecurity, taking into account the special needs of LDCs, SIDS and LLDCs, and strengthening of human capacity to address future policy and regulatory challenges.
2) Promotion of universal access to telecommunications/ICTs in LDCs, SIDS, and LLDCs
3) Assistance to LDCs, SIDS and LLDCs in adopting telecommunication/ICT applications in disaster management, relating to disaster prediction, preparedness, adaptation, monitoring, mitigation, response, rehabilitation and recovery of telecommunication/ICT networks based on their priority needs
4) Assistance to LDCs, SIDS and LLDCs in their efforts to achieve internationally agreed goals, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs, the Samoa Pathway for SIDS and the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs.

Asia-Pacific Regional Initiative 2:
Harnessing information and communication technologies to support the digital economy and an inclusive digital society

Objective: To assist Member States in utilizing information and communication technologies (ICTs) to reap the benefits of the digital economy and in addressing the human and technical capacity challenges for bridging the digital divide.

Expected results
1) Planning and elaboration of national strategic frameworks on the digital economy as well as associated toolkits for selected ICT applications and services
2) Establishment and annual updating of a repository of all work done within ITU relating to the digital economy since the World Telecommunication Development Conference (Dubai, 2014)
3) Development of policies, strategies and guidelines for practical implementation, including for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities.
4) Deployment of ICT/mobile applications to improve the delivery of value added services in sectors such as health, education, agriculture, governance, energy, financial services and e-commerce
5) Identification, collation and sharing of knowledge, best practices and case studies on various telecommunication/ICT applications.
6) Development of cross-sectoral national digital skills programmes for inclusiveness, especially for women, youth, the elderly and persons with specific needs.

​Asia-Pacific Regional Initiative 3:
Fostering development of infrastructure to enhance digital connectivity

Objective: To assist Member States in the development of telecommunication/information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure in order to facilitate provision of services and applications on that infrastructure.

Expected results
1) Migration/transition of analogue networks to digital networks, application of affordable wired and wireless technologies (including interoperability of ICT infrastructure), and optimized use of the digital dividend
2) Maximized use of new and emerging technologies for the development of telecommunication/ICT networks, including 5G and smart grid infrastructure and services
3) Strengthening of capacity to develop and implement national broadband plans in order to provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas (including support for study of the status of national broadband networks and international connectivity), to promote affordable access, especially for youth, women, indigenous peoples and children, to select appropriate technologies, to develop and use universal service funds effectively, and to develop financially and operationally sustainable business models
4) Promotion of Internet exchange points (IXPs) as a long-term solution to advance connectivity, deployment of IPv6-based networks and applications, and progress in the transition from IPv4 to IPv6
5) Strengthening of the capacity to implement conformance and interoperability (C&I) procedures and testing and to plan resources for C&I programmes, and facilitation of the establishment of common regional and subregional C&I regimes (including the adoption and implementation of mutual recognition arrangements)
6) Attention to spectrum-management issues, including radio-frequency planning, new spectrum-sharing approaches, harmonized spectrum allocation and spectrum monitoring systems, and support for preparations for world radiocommunication conferences (WRCs) and implementation of their outcomes
7) Building of skills for the development and use of satellite telecommunications
8) Strengthening of cooperation with international/regional organizations to enhance regional ICT connectivity, such as the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS).

​Asia-Pacific Regional Initiative 4:
Enabling policy and regulatory environments

​Objective:​To assist Member States in developing appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks, fostering innovation, enhancing skills, increasing information sharing and strengthening regulatory cooperation, thereby contributing to a supportive regulatory environment for all stakeholders. 

Expected results
1) Sharing of information on developments in policy, legal and regulatory frameworks as well as market developments in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and the digital economies it enables
2) Development, implementation and review of strategies, policies and legal and regulatory frameworks, including for next-generation universal service obligation (USO), consumer protection, transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to digital enterprises, and innovation and entrepreneurship
3) Encouraging inclusive dialogues and strengthening cooperation among national and regional regulators, policy-makers and other telecommunication/ICT stakeholders, as well as with other sectors of the economy, on topical policy, legal, regulatory and market issues
4) Strengthening institutional, human and technical capacity on topical policy, legal and regulatory issues, as well as on economic and financial issues and market developments
5) Improved awareness of policy and regulatory frameworks relating to data privacy and cross-border data
6) Development of strategic frameworks to support research and development activities in ICT in developing countries. 

Asia-Pacific Regional Initiative 5: Contributing to a secure and resilient environment

Objective: To assist Member States to develop and maintain secure, trusted and resilient networks and services, and to address challenges related to climate change and disaster management. 

Expected results
1) Compilation of national and/or regional cybersecurity strategies, establishment of national cybersecurity capabilities such as computer incident response teams (CIRTs), and sharing of good practices, through the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), to nurture a culture of cybersecurity
2) Strengthening of institutional cooperation and coordination among the key actors and stakeholders at the national, regional and global level (including through organizing cyberdrills) and of the capacity to address issues related to cybersecurity
3) Development of national emergency telecommunication plans and ICT-based initiatives for providing medical (e-health) and humanitarian assistance in disasters and emergencies
4) Incorporation of disaster-resilient features in telecommunication networks and infrastructure, and development of ICT-based solutions (including wireless and satellite-based technologies) to enhance network resilience
5) Development of standards-based monitoring and early-warning systems linked to national and regional networks, and enhanced use of active and passive space-based sensing systems for disaster prediction, detection and mitigation
6) Formulation of comprehensive strategies and measures to help mitigate and respond to the devastating effects of climate change, including e-waste policy.