Friday, 15 April 2011 - Secretariat of the Pacific Community

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for ICT for Development/Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-APCICT/ESCAP), signed an Implementation Arrangement last week to strengthen their collaborative efforts to coordinate strategy and resources for the development of ICT in the Pacific Islands region.

The signing took place on Wednesday 6 April 2010 during the Inaugural Regional Meeting of Ministers for Energy, Information and Communication Technology and Transport, which was organised by SPC in Noumea, New Caledonia last week.

Delivering her keynote address to Pacific ICT Ministers, Director for UN-APCICT/ESCAP Dr. Hyeun-Suk Rhee said, 'UN-APCICT/ESCAP will work to support SPC as it continues to deliver Academy training to government officials during national workshops in a number of Pacific Island countries (PICs) as part of the "ICT Access for the Poor" project, which is funded by the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat.'

UN-APCICT/ESCAP will also work to support SPC in its broader work to implement the Framework for Action on ICT for Development in the Pacific (FAIDP), in collaboration with the other regional stakeholders including the University of the South Pacific (USP), particularly in building the ICT capacity of students and youth, who are the future leaders of the society. For this purpose, UN-APCICT/ESCAP will launch the "Young ICTD Leaders" module in October 2011.

To further commemorate the occasion, Dr Rhee presented a plaque of appreciation to the Director-General of SPC, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, in recognition of the outstanding efforts to further the awareness and use of ICT for development in the Pacific and in honour of the partnership demonstrated.

Accepting the plaque, Dr Rodgers acknowledged the work UN-APCICT/ESCAP has been undertaking over the years with the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), and the continuation of this collaboration with SPC of which SOPAC is now a division.

UN-APCICT/ESCAP is located in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The Centre's mission is to strengthen the efforts of the member countries of ESCAP to use ICT in their socio-economic development through human and institutional capacity building.

SPC is a Pacific-based international intergovernmental organisation that assists the Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) by delivering a wide range of technical, research, educational and planning services. It has 26 members comprising 22 PICTs and four metropolitan members, Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America.