Monday 4 September 2023

APT Secretary-General, H.E Mr Masanori Kondo (centre) and Chairman of PRFP, Mr John Jack (right), during panel discussion at the Hilton Hotel, Port Moresby on Friday 1 September 2023. Picture supplied by NICTA PNG

The hosting of a successful 16th Asia-Pacific Telecommunity’s Policy and Regulatory Forum for Pacific (PRFP-16) speaks volumes to PNG’s commitment to strengthening regional collaboration.

Mr Noel Mobiha, National Information Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) board chairman in his closing remarks, acknowledged APT through Secretary General, His Excellency Masanori Kondo for having confidence in staging this milestone event in Port Moresby.

“The APT continues to provide an ideal platform for us in the Pacific, to coming together to share our knowledge and experiences and to collaborate on the way forward.

“I would like to express my optimism about the future of ICT in the Pacific as we embark on a journey together to create a ‘Smart Pacific With One Voice’ creating a digital future together.

The Forum  covered an extensive array of topics in the last three days, from 30 August to 1 September 2023.

Mr Mobiha added, “We have shared our inside experiences, lessons learnt, initiatives undertaken and I am particularly impressed with the lessons learnt post Pandemic, because the key issue has being to harness ICT in a more meaningful way, for security, crisis management and reliability of service.

“I would like to echo the sentiments made by Minister for ICT, Hon. Timothy Masiu, who made mention on his opening speech that PRFP is an important forum to continue a dialogue amongst Pacific friends.

“It is important to continue the dialogue because simply, we are embarking on a Lagatoi – transformation journey of commitment, collaboration and cooperation for a digitally empowered Pacific, Mr Mobiha said.

Mr Masanori Kondo, Secretary General- APT, in his speech,  thanked the government and people of PNG for the excellent arrangements in hosting this meetings and the hospitality extended to the visiting delegates.

“Distinguished delegates, this forum would not have been successful without the warm hospitality of our host country, PNG.

“And in particular, the team from the national ICT authority, NICTA,” Mr Kondo said.

The three days event hosted at the Hilton Hotel, commenced on the 30August, 2023 where a key highlight was the ‘Ministers Roundtable’ session; where ICT ministers’ and regulators from the Pacific region share insights, experiences, lessons learnt and initiatives on telecommunications and ICT policy and regulation in their respective countries.

The meeting also was used as a platform to discuss the practical implementation of the priorities set out in the Ministerial Declaration, which was launched a few days earlier at the Apec Haus during the Pacific ICT Ministerial Dialogue.

“Each theme of sessions discussed over the three days included; digital transformation, digital infrastructure, digital innovation, security and trust, disaster management and digital capacity building and skills, were also invaluable in enhancing our understanding of the context of the Pacific countries and their ICT policies.

“Through this decisions, I believe we could provide contributions to the drafting work of the action plans for the Lagatoi Declaration (Ministerial Declaration).

“I hope that PRFP-16 has been a great value to you, and the PRFP will continue to play an essential role to support the Pacific members effectively and lay the foundation for the possible complete implementation of the Lagatoi Declaration.

“The APT will provide all possible support, to the Pacific countries as we have done and I hope to see you all in Tonga for PRFP-17, Mr Kondo added.

The  Chairman of PRFP, Mr John Jack,  in his closing remarks, said “As we come to the close of the PRFP-16, I wish to commend you for attending and sharing valuable discussions on way forward.

“We started of with the Lagatoi Declaration and in our closing session  on the action plans for the Lagatoi Declaration.

“It is exciting to learn that we applied fruitful discussions and I understand that this gathering has enabled bilateral meetings to take place as well.

“Congratulations and a very big thank you to the people of PNG for hosting a successful PRFP-16.

“I would like to acknowledge the sponsors who enable a successful event, especially to the Governments of Australian and Japan for their continued support.

“May I also take this opportunity to recognize the role played by our network operators, and other organizations that have enabled us to deliver on what we are doing.

“A result of a successful PRFP, is active participation, so thank you to the moderators, distinguished panelists great and insightful presentation throughout this forum ensuring our sessions are interactive and this shows a commitment to strong networking and partnership building.

“Let us go away from here with this in mind; that the best way to combat common problems and challenges is to build partnership, collaborate and work together in a smart way, and as we say, “One Pacific, One Voice” to reap more benefits from our shared efforts In the ICT and Telecommunication space,” Mr Jack said.

The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) organized the 16th APT Policy and Regulation Forum for Pacific (PRFP-16) from 30 August to 1 September 2023 in Port Moresby, PNG with physical attendance as well as virtual/online participation through Zoom meeting platform.

 The forum was hosted by the National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA), Papua New Guinea, and supported by the generous contributions from Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, Australia and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan.

PRFP-16 was preceded by the Pacific ICT Ministerial Dialogue (28-29 August 2023)”., which adopted the Lagatoi Declaration on the theme “Connected Pacific – Enabling Aspirations through ICT”.

Accordingly, synergizing these events, PRFP-16 organised its sessions based on the priority areas agreed in the  Lagatoi Declaration to support the development of telecommunications and ICT policies in Pacific countries and provide an opportunity to share policy and regulatory trends, and enhance their capacity to address emerging opportunities and challenges.

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