Regional Development Forum focuses on ICTs for Smart Society in the Asia-Pacific Region
The 2016 Asia-Pacific Regional Development Forum was held in Manila, Philippines from 6 to 7 June under the theme “ICTs for Smart Sustainable Asia-Pacific”.
The Forum was organized by ITU in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology – Information and Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) of the Philippines and with the support from the Department of Communication and the Arts of Australia.
The Forum provided a platform for a high-level dialogue between ITU-D Membership on the progress made in the implementation of the five Asia-Pacific Regional initiatives approved by the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) held in 2014 as well as the ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Office operational plan for the next two-years.
“In building a smart, sustainable Asia-Pacific, policy makers, regulators, private sector and development partners need to establish an inclusive dialogue in order to move together towards attaining sustainable development and a better future for all people in the region,” said Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau.
He reiterated that the implementation of the Regional Initiatives is on top of his priorities, adding, “it is through their implementation that we can make a difference at national and regional levels.”
Mr Sanou said significant efforts are underway in preparation for the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17) to be held in October 2017.
Mr Mario Montejo, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines highlighted several programmes being undertaken in the country to improve internet connectivity especially in rural areas. “We believe in the power of connectivity as a starting point for innovation, and laying down this foundation brings us closer to a more ICT-driven society.”
During the Forum, Mr Ioane Koroivuki, ITU Regional Director for Asia-Pacific, presented a status report on the implementation of the five Regional Initiatives for Asia-Pacific. He said, “the implementation of the Regional Initiatives will go a long way to transform the Asia-Pacific region into a Smartly Digital knowledge-based society.”
The Asia-Pacific Regional 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.