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UN and SPC to strengthen ICT capacity in the Pacific

UN and SPC to strengthen ICT capacity in the Pacific

24 November, 2010, Incheon Republic of Korea –The United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT/ESCAP), a regional institution of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) today entered into a partnership arrangement that will form the basis of collaborative efforts to increase the capacity and use of information and communication technology for development (ICTD) in Pacific Island countries.

Representatives of APCICT and SPC are in Bangkok, Thailand this week to participate in the Second Session of the ESCAP Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which runs 24 -26 November, 2010.

Lack of human capacity in the Pacific ICT sector is an acknowledged fact. Most Pacific countries do not have the technical expertise and capacity to exploit the opportunities and adequately address the challenges that ICT presents.

Today’s signing formalizes the longstanding partnership between APCICT and SPC and is intended to facilitate SPC’s implementation of the Framework for Action on ICT for Development in the Pacific (ICT Framework), which was endorsed by Pacific ICT ministers in June, 2010.

“APCICT is very pleased to cement its relationship with such a prominent regional organization that is committed to strengthening development efforts in the Pacific region through the use of ICT”, said Dr. Hyeun-suk Rhee, Director of APCICT. “APCICT looks forward to collaborating with SPC and supports its work to achieve the goals outlined in such a comprehensive ICT for development framework”.

APCICT and SPC collaboration dates back to September 2008, when the Centre partnered with the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), to organize a Pacific-wide workshop of the “Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders Programme” (Academy), APCICT’s flagship programme, in the Cook Islands. The ICT outreach programme of SOPAC was merged with SPC in early 2010. Since the initial launch in the Cook Islands, SOPAC and SPC have taken a leading role in rolling out the Academy in Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu. APCICT also co-organized and sponsored a number of other ICT related forums and meetings in the Pacific region in collaboration with SOPAC and SPC to promote the Academy programme.

“SPC recognizes there are many players in the ICT sector in the region and the need to work as a team to ensure we better coordinate our efforts, limit duplication and make more efficient use of resources”, said Dr. Jimmie Rodgers, Director General of SPC. “This strategic partnership with UN-APCICT/ESCAP is a key step toward addressing the lack of ICT human capacity in the region and an important step in ensuring we have better coordinated efforts in using ICT to benefits the people of the Pacific”.

SPC was requested by Pacific ICT ministers to develop an implementation plan to support monitoring and evaluation functions of the ICT Framework and coordinate its implementation in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific, and other regional agencies and development partners. Building the ICT human capacity is one of the key focus areas of the Framework as lack of ICT human capacity is still one of the key challenges in the Pacific
The Academy is a comprehensive ICT for development curriculum with eight core training modules that provides senior government leaders with the skills and knowledge to fully embrace ICT opportunities for socio-economic development. Since being launched in 2008, APCICT has worked with national partners to roll-out the Academy in 17 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The Committee on ICT is organized by the Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD) of ESCAP, and reviews and assesses the work carried-out by ESCAP institutions, divisions, and partner organizations related to ICT in the Asia-Pacific region..

United Nations APCICT-ESCAP
The United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT/ESCAP) is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, established with a membership identical to that of ESCAP and is located in Incheon, Republic of Korea. APCICT aims to strengthen the efforts of the member countries of ESCAP to use ICT in their socio-economic development through building human and institutional capacity for ICT.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community
SPC is an intergovernmental organisation that provides technical and policy advice and assistance to its Pacific Island members. It was established as an international organisation in 1947 and has 26 members. SPC’s 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. 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.


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