Cebu, Philippines - The Minister of Communications, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Seta Awg Hj Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar attended the 12th Asean Telecommunications & Information Technology Ministers Meeting (12th TELMIN) and related meetings with dialogue partners, on November 15 and 16, in Cebu, the Philippines.
The event and its related meetings with dialogue partners was officiated by Jejomar C Binay, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines. Mario G Montejo, Secretary at the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines chaired the meeting while Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, the Minister for Communications and Information of Singapore was the vice-chairperson. On this occasion, the Asean Ministers also held separate dialogues with their counterparts from the People's Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
One of the highlights was the adoption of the "Mactan Cebu Declaration: Connected Asean - Enabling Aspirations" which reiterates Asean's commitment towards promoting ICTdriven economic transformation through people engagement and empowerment, innovation, infrastructure development, human capital development, and bridging the digital divide. It maps out the priority actions in the implementation of the AIM 2015, acknowledging that ICT is an enabler for Asean economic and social development and integration.
The meeting also reviewed the progress of the implementation of AIM 2015. Various projects were implemented throughout the year, including two projects under the leadership of Brunei Darussalam, namely the Asean CIO Forum and the Asean ICT Awards. The Asean CIO Forum was held in collaboration with CIO 16 Association of Thailand in April 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. Meanwhile, the first Asean ICT Awards was launched in July 2012 and has opened five categories for participation from Asean member countries. Winners of the award were announced during the meeting and ministers presented the prizes to the winners. Brunei Darussalam has been assigned to continue its role as 'Project Leader' for the Asean CIO Forum and Asean ICT Awards next year.
For implementation of more projects in the coming year, Asean TELMIN Ministers have approved a block budget of US$460,000.
The ministers recognised the importance of information security in the broadband network and agreed to strengthen Asean cooperation in this field. They are also committed in strengthening efforts to implement AIM 2015, particularly in the implementation of the Asean Broadband Corridor (ABC) to promote greater broadband penetration, affordability and universal access; the harmonisation of radio frequencies in Asean to utilise the benefit of economies of scale and for better interference management; and enhanced transparency measures on international roaming charges.
The ministers further welcomed the Asean Telecommunications and ICT Senior Officials' recommendation to strengthen the Universal Service Obligation (USO) policy to facilitate the provision of broadband in every school.
Meanwhile, in the Asean TELMIN meetings with dialogue partners China, Japan and Korea, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) touched upon cooperation in various areas that are further strengthened, such as cybersecurity, human capacity development, new emerging technologies and social media.
The ministers of Asean and China agreed to amend the Memorandum of Understanding between Asean and the People's Republic of China on ICT Cooperation and complete the amendment in 2013. They agreed to adopt the Plan of Action to deepen the China-Asean ICT Cooperative Partnership for Common Development (2012-2016), which will serve as a guide for future exchanges and cooperation.
In the cooperation with Japan, the Asean Ministers expressed their appreciation to Japan for her assistance in a number of areas of cooperation including information security, human resource development, improvement of Asean ICT infrastructure, and utilisation and development of ICT applications under the Asean-Japan ICT Work Plan for 2011-2012. The Asean Ministers also expressed their sincere thanks to Japan for her 4th contribution to the Asean-Japan ICT Cooperation Fund.
They also recognised that the "Asean-Japan Collaboration Framework on Information Security" is progressing well and agreed to deepen and widen cooperation on information security through joint activities. Both sides also noted to enhance information security cooperation to a higher level and agreed to hold the "Japan-Asean Ministerial Policy Meeting on Cyber Security Cooperation" in Japan in September 2013 as a part of joint activities. The ministers also welcomed Japan's proposal to expand the current cooperation to implement the Asean Smart Network concept, which will.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin