Geneva, 13 April 2011 — ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun 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, which was held at SPC headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia, on April 11.
It will see ITU and SPC 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 formal annual consultations that include review of the progress made on implementation of the Arrangements.
“Last year’s Ministers’ Meeting in Tonga endorsed the ‘Framework for Action on ICT for Development in the Pacific’. Since then, ITU – and our 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,” said Dr Touré. “Let’s 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.”
“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” said 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.
A Special Ministerial Forum Communiqué adopted by 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 also welcomed Mr Francois Rancy, the Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau. It was organized in conjunction with the PITA 15th Annual General Meeting, the ITU/ANFR joint workshop for spectrum management in the Pacific, and the ITU/EC workshop on international mobile roaming.
The Forum followed directly on from the Inaugural Regional Meeting of Ministers of Energy, Information and Communication Technology and Transport (4-8 April), which was the first-ever cross-sectoral ministers’ meeting convened by SPC.
SPC is a Pacific-based international intergovernmental organisation established by treaty under the Canberra Agreement on 6 February 1947. It has 26 members comprising 22 Pacific Island countries and territories and four metropolitan members, Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America. The SPC vision for the region is a secure and prosperous Pacific Community, whose people are educated and healthy and manage their resources in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable way. The SPC mission is to help Pacific Island people position themselves to respond effectively to the challenges they face and make informed decisions about their future and the future they wish to leave for the generations that follow. SPC’s headquarters are in Noumea, New Caledonia. It also has regional offices in Suva, Fiji Islands, and Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, and country offices in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.