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PACIFIC - Palau

Media Release

Pacific Islands Regional ICT Consultation

Participants at the Pacific Islands Regional ICT Consultation (PIRIC), held in Suva, Fiji, from 9-11 April, have been preparing Pacific Island countries and organisations to participate effectively in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

The Consultation was attended by almost 100 representatives of Pacific Island governments, communication and information service providers, media organisations, and NGOs and civil society entities actively involved in a wide range of Information Society issues from 14 countries and territories.

The objective of the Consultation was to ensure that the unique contributions and needs of Pacific Island countries and peoples including groups with special needs are fully recognized and represented throughout the WSIS process and ultimately reflected in the Declaration and Action Plan to be adopted at the Summit in Geneva in December 2003.

Participants considered presentations on national and organisational policies, strategies and action plans relating to information and communication technologies (ICTs). Other inputs included the Pacific regional framework documents (the Forum Communication Action Plan and the Pacific ICT Policy and Strategic Plan), documentation from the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference held in Tokyo in January 2003, the draft WSIS framework, and papers provided by NGOs and other participants on a wide range of ICT-related issues.

The Consultation featured analyses by national and sectoral working groups of the WSIS draft Declaration of Principles and Action Plan. Priority issues that were identified included the special circumstances faced by small island developing states in becoming knowledge societies, focus on information rather than technology, improvements in human resources and infrastructure, the importance of traditional media, recognising diversity and special needs, and the role of non-governmental organisations.

Following the Consultation, participants are better placed to understand opportunities and priorities for deriving optimum benefits from ICTs as developmental tools. Attention focused on a wide variety of critical issues, including the often high costs of ICT development, human resource constraints, and the need to ensure that ICT access is made as universal as possible and that women are able to participate fully in ICT activities.

The Consultation made recommendations on ICT development issues that were included in a regional guidance document for use in preparations by national governments and relevant regional organisations for their participation toward the Summit.

The Consultation was organised and sponsored by FDC: Foundation for Development Cooperation, GKP: Global Knowledge Partnership, ITU: International Telecommunication Union, PIFS: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, PITA: Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association, UNDP/UNOPS: the e-Pacifika project team, and UNESCO: United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organisation.

ENDS

Further information: Robert Guild, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, +679 322 0212, robertg@forumsec.org.fj


 

To get involved, contact :

 
         

National Co-ordinator
Mr Joe Chilton
Palau Community College
PO Box 9
Koror, 96940
Republic of Palau
T: + 680 488 2470
F: + 680 488 6563
Tutiic@yahoo.com

     
Ms. Tiare Holm
Palau Conservation Society
P.O. Box 1811,
Koror, 96940
Republic of Palau
T: ++ 680 488 3993
F: ++ 680 488 3990
pcs@palaunet.com
 

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