Pacific Island leaders gathered in Kokopo, East New Britain Province, to conclude the first day of critical conversation about the region’s potential and challenges in the global ICT landscape.
Today was the first day of the two-day Pacific ICT Dialogue. Discussions will be based on the theme “Smart Pacific, One Voice.”
As the host, Minister for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Timothy Masiu ran the meeting. His counterpart from New Caledonia, Minister for ICT Vaimua Guy Lolohea Muliava, and delegates from Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and PNG were also there.
Minister Masiu said that it is more important than ever for the leaders of the smaller island-developing states in the Pacific to stand together and speak with one voice because the region is such an important part of the global ICT scene.
He said, “This dialogue is an important way for us to get together and talk about the opportunities and problems in our region.”
“We know that our region has problems, like limited resources and being in a remote area, which can make it hard for social and economic growth.
“As we start this journey, I’d like to talk about how important ICT is for making our economies stronger and making us safer. “In today’s connected world, access to digital technologies and the internet is now a key part of economic growth and development,” said Minister Masiu.
He said that ICT doesn’t just help us start new businesses and industries; it also gives us the tools to improve our public services and make it easier to deal with new security threats.
The Pacific has a unique set of problems when it comes to digital infrastructure and connectivity. Minister Masiu told other leaders that the only way to solve these problems is for Pacific nations to collaborate and share their resources and ideas.
“We are committed to getting past these problems and making the most of the opportunities the digital age offers. We are committed to establishing regional collaboration and cooperation to better use digital solutions to help our economies grow and make us safer.