Tuesday 11October 2022

Minister for Information and Communications Technology Hon. Timothy Masiu has highlighted outcomes of Papua New Guinea’s participation at the recent International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary 2022 Conference held in Bucharest, Romania from 25– 28 September 2022.

Speaking after arriving from Romania, Minister Masiu said PNG has initiated a lot of discussions at the conference with all member countries participated during the conference.

“A meeting was initiated with all the Pacific Island nations in attendance including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, and Fiji and during the meeting, Pacific Island nations reaffirmed concerns of ‘our collective ICT voice’ not being heard at a global level and the consensus was to hold an official round table discussion to consolidate our views and agree on how best we could strengthen our voice at a global level,” Minister Masiu said.

Mr Masiu is pleased to say the meeting also nominated Papua New Guinea   as the Interim Secretariat for this initiative, and a regional meeting has been scheduled for January 2023.

He further stated that another important outcome of the conference was a commitment by the United States Government for Capacity Building Support.

“We have initiated another discussion with ITU Secretary General – elect Doreen Bogdan – Martin and the United States government representatives, and during the discussions, the United States government committed to funding a cyber capacity building program to support Papua New Guinea’s digital transformation agenda.

“The capacity building program covers: Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Legal matters pertaining to Cryptocurrency, Digital Inclusion, and Data Privacy.

“This capacity building has been welcomed by my Ministry as it aligns with our efforts to deliver on both the Digital Government Act 2022 and the draft Digital Government Plan 2023 – 2027.”

Minister Masiu stated that Papua New Guinea leads the Pacific region in the Digital Transformation Agenda as several proposals are being considered at the ITU – PP 22 by other member states supporting the overall digital transformation agenda.

I am delighted to note that Papua New Guinea is the first Pacific Island nation to initiate the digital transformation agenda through its Digital Transformation Policy 2020, the Digital Government Act 2022, and the draft Digital Government Plan 2023 – 2027.”

Minister Masiu admits the PNG digital transformation journey is still at its infancy stage, however, confident that Papua New Guinea is on the right track and that it will see much needed public service delivery transformed within the medium term.

In his policy statement to the conference, Mr Masiu said Papua New Guinea would remain committed to the ITU, adding, as a reflection of such commitment, he had approved an increase of the country’s contribution from quarter to half credit.”

PNG’s membership to  ITU  has now increased from K300,000 to K600,000 annually  as a result of Minister Masiu’s pledge in Romania. 

 “The increase in contribution not only reflects Papua New Guinea’s confidence in the work of the ITU, but also reflects our efforts to align our Digital Transformation Road Map to best practices globally.”

He added that, this pledge has given Papua New Guinea’s increased attention in the region resulting in increased number of bilateral meetings held with the PNG delegates during the visit.

As we confront our developmental challenges, we must be reminded that as a sovereign nation, it is important that we maintain our voice at regional and global levels.

 “Our voice in the ITU and other global ICT fora, must be heard so that we ensure that the use of ICT remains accessible, affordable, and easily usable for our Papua New Guinea citizens and residents,” Minister Masiu added.

Proposals put forward at the conference by Papua New Guinea is available to stakeholders and the public at www.nicta.gov.pg and www.itu.int.