Regional Development Forum for Asia-Pacific held in Bangkok
The ITU Regional Development Forum (RDF) for Asia and the Pacific was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 21 and 22 August 2015 under the theme “Smartly Digital Asia-Pacific”. The Forum was attended by about 100 participants from over 31 Member States, Sector Members, UN Agencies, members of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) and existing and potential partners from the region.
The Forum was organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology of Thailand (MICT) and with support from the Department of Communications of the Australian Government.
The Forum discussed in detail the five Asia-Pacific Regional Initiatives approved by the World Telecommunication Development Conference of 2014 as well as providing ITU-D Membership with an opportunity to exchange experiences and best practices in the implementation of the initiatives in the framework of the ITU Strategic Plan for 2016‐2019.
The Initiatives focus on the following areas: providing special assistance to least developed countries, small island developing states, including Pacific island countries, and landlocked developing countries to meet their priority ICT needs; emergency telecommunications; harnessing the benefits of new technologies; development, access and adoption of broadband; and policy and regulation.
Participants were also briefed on the results of the implementation of the programs, projects and partnerships under the ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Initiatives approved by the World Telecommunication Development Conference of 2010.
Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau noted that, “the Regional Development Forum is part of our efforts to strengthen the ITU Regional presence by allowing annual regional reporting on the activities of ITU and also strengthening regional accountability.”
He added, “I would like to thank the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology of Thailand for hosting the Regional Development Forum and I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity and our other partners to make the successful implementation of our Regional Initiatives possible.”
Ms. Areewan Haorangsi, Secretary-General of APT observed that the RDF accords stakeholders in the region, a forum to discuss and seek solutions to the diverse constraints facing the ICT Sector. “APT would like to further strengthen our collaboration with ITU to synergize our effort and create impactful outcomes for the Asia-Pacific. We hope to see more collaborative activities in the future,” she said.
Mrs Songporn Komolsuradej, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology of Thailand noted with appreciation ITU’s efforts to implement the outcomes of the Regional Initiatives under the Dubai Action Plan and the Connect Asia-Pacific Summit 2013. She added, “The RDF is one of those commendable efforts which bring together not only the ITU members but also ICT development stakeholders from different sectors to discuss opportunities and challenges with a view to find a better way forward for the implementation of the ITU development agenda.”
Mr. Ioane Koroivuki, Regional Director of the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, said that, “the Asia-Pacific Regional Development Forum brings together decision-makers of various stakeholders to engage in open dialogue, brainstorming, cooperation, and partnerships to foster creative, innovative and sustainable development in the region.”