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ITU and SPC pledge closer cooperation to spur Pacific region development
photo: Shutterstock

Ministerial Forum calls for ITU to establish a Pacific regional presence

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré has signed an agreement with the Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Dr Jimmie Rodgers, which will strengthen and enhance cooperation between the two organizations and facilitate ICT development programmes throughout the region. The new Arrangements between the two parties were agreed at the Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum, held at SPC headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia, on 11 April 2011.

ITU and SPC will collaborate more actively across a range of areas, including: promoting ICT infrastructure development across the region and local industry; ICT human capacity building; cybersecurity; emergency communications; and new strategies to connect the unconnected. The two organizations also agreed to conduct annual reviews of the progress made on implementation of the Arrangements.

The Ministerial Meeting in Tonga in 2010 endorsed the “Framework for Action on ICT for Development in the Pacific”. Since then, ITU — and its Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in particular — has given priority to the pressing needs of Pacific island countries, particularly in the areas of capacity building, ICT applications, emergency communications and cybersecurity. “Let us ensure that we use meetings such as this one to make the world a better place — for everyone, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances,” said Dr Touré.

“SPC’s work cuts across many sectors and governments in the Pacific, which makes it easier for ITU and other development partners to collaborate with SPC to implement actions at the national level. Entering into Arrangements with ITU is an important step for us to progress ICT and telecommunication work in the region,” commented Dr Rodgers. “Individually we might be able to do good things, but collaboratively we might achieve even greater things.”

Jointly convened by ITU and SPC and supported by the Government of Australia and the European Union, the Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum was attended by ministers and senior officials from 15 Pacific island countries and territories, as well as France, and by François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau.

A communiqué adopted by Forum delegates recognizes the key role of ITU in ICT and telecommunication development in the Pacific and, on behalf of Pacific Member States, requests ITU to:

  • support cybersecurity and child online protection initiatives in the region, including continuing to support the operations of the Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (PacCERT)

  • establish an ITU presence in the Pacific

  • continue to provide projects that focus on the identified needs of the Pacific, and organize more ITU events in the Pacific.

The Forum was organized in conjunction with the 15th Annual General Meeting of the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA); the joint workshop for spectrum management in the Pacific convened by ITU and France’s National Frequency Agency (ANFR); and the workshop on international mobile roaming convened by ITU and the European Commission. It followed the Inaugural Regional Meeting of Ministers of Energy, Information and Communication Technology and Transport (4–8 April 2011), convened by SPC.


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