Noumea, New Caledonia - 07 Apr 2011

On 6 April, the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT/ESCAP) delivered the keynote speech to the Pacific Regional ICT Ministers Meeting; part of the week-long Inaugural Regional Meeting of Ministers for Energy, Information and Communication Technology and Transport, in Noumea, New Caledonia.

Dr. Hyeun Suk Rhee, Director of APCICT, addressed close to 100 government representatives, including over 10 ICT Ministers from Pacific Island Countries, about the importance of ICT human resource capacity development in the Pacific region, and the work APCICT has carried out in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to develop the capacity of government officials in the use of ICT for development (ICTD) through the “Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders Programme” (Academy).


The ICT Ministers for the Pacific Island Countries acknowledged APCICT’s capacity building initiatives in the Pacific region. The Ministers also welcomed the initiative to strengthen the use of ICT for national and regional disaster risk management and climate change adaptation through the utilization of the Academy’s newest training modules; Module 9 – ICT for Disaster Risk Management and Module 10 - ICT for Climate Change, Green Growth and Sustainable Development.


The meeting also called on ICT Ministers to support national and regional capacity building initiatives, and the implementation and delivery of training through the Academy, especially on ICT for development, disaster risk management and climate change, as part of the Pacific Regional ICT Strategy Action Plan.


Following the keynote address, APCICT and SPC signed an Implementation Arrangement to strengthen their collaborative efforts to coordinate strategy and resources for the development of ICT human resource and institutional capacity in the Pacific region.


APCICT is working to support SPC as it continues to deliver Academy training to government officials as part of the “ICT Access for the Poor” project funded by the European Union – African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.


The project includes building the capacity of policymakers, legislators and parliamentarians of 14 Pacific ACP Countries to ultimately improve access to ICT services for the poor, including rural and remote island communities.


The Academy was first introduced in the Pacific region through a Sub-Regional Workshop held in the Cook Islands, in September 2008. Since then, the Academy has been officially launched at the national level in Tonga (Feb 2009), Tuvalu (Jun 2009), Samoa (Jul 2009) and Kiribati (Sept 2009) in partnership with SPC.


Government officials from Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have also participated in APCICT organized events.


The Inaugural Regional Meeting of Ministers for Energy, Information and Communication Technology and Transport was organized by SPC, which is an intergovernmental organization that provides technical and policy advice and assistance to its Pacific Island members.


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