Office of the Secretary

Media Release - 16th September 2022


PNG Ministers of State Hon. Timothy Masiu, Minister for Information and Communications Technology and Hon. Peter Tsiamalili Jr, Minister for Internal Security deliver National Progress at Asia Pacific Regional Governance Forum 2022 and Asia Pacific Network Internet Centre’s (APNIC) 54th Conference that commenced on Monday the 12th of September 2022 in Singapore.

With over 2.5 billion Internet users, the Asia Pacific region is the fastest growing in the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a reported 100% increase in cyber-attacks on infrastructure, services, databases across Asia and the Pacific, as work goes online in recent times. 

“Cybercrime and online Gender Based Violence (GBV) has also increased exponentially due to the abuse of ubiquitous social media platforms”.

Hence, collaboration and sharing of experience in governance of the Internet is key to enable resilience and growth in the various economies.

“There is need for digital commons across State boundaries, regionally or at multi-lateral level to set rules for this increasingly fluid and contested space. Only then can we harmonize standards, respond to threats and cooperate in delivering technologies to our needs.”

Hon Timothy Masiu delivered Papua New Guinea’s aspiration in the region and updated on our progress in terms of cyber, critical infrastructure, digital services and other related policy directions.

These key discussions items covered by Minister Masiu are substantive provisions under the Digital Government Act 2022 and highlighted as program delivery in the draft Digital Government Plan 2023-2027.

Minister Masiu also alluded for the need to focus on shared regional goals such as using technology to increase monitoring and response to natural disasters such as the recent one which happened in PNG.

He also had an open and engaging discussions with executives of the Pacific Island Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) in Singapore on Tuesday September 13.

“The work of the Pacific Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is under the oversight of PICISOC. Vice President Andrew Molivurae expressed sincere gratitude towards the PNG Government for facilitating the combined efforts with APrIGF Chair Anju Mangal.”

Minister Masiu is now championing a Pacific Island resurgence of IGF which has the tasks of revitalizing and repositioning efforts in areas of regional geopolitics, digital transformation and cyber efforts such as PacCERT, PacIGF, ICANN and connecting with CROP Pacific Islands ICT Ministers.

A new chapter on Pacific Island nations working towards hosting another of its own Pacific Islands IGF will soon be realized in the near future.

PNG ICT Minister Hon. Masiu received an overwhelming applause and support from regional and UN IGF bodies for internet governance within the Pacific to grow the economy and improve quality of life.

Minister Masiu raised PNG’s concerns on representation for smaller Pacific Island nation in areas of connectivity, affordability and security with growing concerns covering rising sea levels, Internet reach etc.

According to APrIGF’s Anju Mangal an estimated USD 428 billion is expected to connect the unconnected by 2030.

Discussions raised were well noted by the “Father of the Internet” Vin Cerf, who has taken up the offer by Minister Masiu to visit PNG, advised that outcomes of the discussions be taken up at the next IGF in Ethiopia in November this year.

The PNG Department of Information and Communications Technology’s National ICT Policies and draft Digital Government Plan 2023-2027 include a government private network component that has provisions for the open market and covers these important areas of interventions.

PNG ICT Minister Hon Timothy Masiu also acknowledged the technology capacity building offered by the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) at the APNIC 54 Conference and to its members perennially.

The PNG Department of Information and Communications Technology through the Digital Government Plan 2023-2027 is pushing for a digital sector for the country which will consolidate, rationalize investment by removing duplications and build local capacity to manage the growing demand for Internet and digital services.

Minister Masiu met with the PNG participants at the conference and encouraged them to work closely with DICT to push for our local Network Operators Group (NOG) and other national initiatives in a multi stakeholder approach, working closely with our clusters and other bodies.

He officially launched the Pacific Digital Gender Scorecards Regional Synthesis report with the Pacific leads and coordinators from Samoa, Tonga, and Papua New Guinea. 

This regional report is a joint project of the Alliance for Affordable Internet – A4AI, World Wide Web Foundation, and Asian Development Bank (ADB) Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (Asian Development Bank).

Head of A4AI Anju Mangal expressed profound appreciation for Minister Masiu’s leadership in ensuring such development matters are championed in the Pacific.

“It wouldn’t be possible without our partners: Samoa Information Technology Association, PNG Digital ICT Cluster Inc., and Tonga Women in ICT (TWICT). 

Minister Masiu ended the APNIC 54 APrIGF 22 Conference in Singapore with an heightened partnership with APNIC.

On Thursday 15th September, Minister Masiu met with the regional internet registry Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) Director General Paul Wilson and members of the executive team to discuss preliminary recommendations for direct support to PNG Government implementing the PNG Department of Information and Communications Technology’s Digital Government Plan 2023-2027. 

Areas of capacity building will cover but limited to networking, cyber security, public key infrastructure, domain name services for open, resilient and scalable architecture to deliver citizen centric services for the people of PNG.

Minister Masiu is an advocate for Pacific Islanders through the regional APrIGF and PNG is committed to ensuring the digital transformation benefits cover other smaller island nations as well as combat common challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, misinformation and health to name a few.

Steven Matainaho