A UN Regional Expert Consultation on Connecting Asia-Pacific’s Digital Society for Resilient Development will be held at the Taj Samudra hotel Colombo from 5th to 6th September.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP and the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) are organising the Consultative meeting. Initiated by UNESCAP in collaboration with the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) the two-day consultation will bring together an impressive line-up of participants. These will comprise local and international speakers, panelists, and moderators.
The opening session on Wednesday is scheduled to comprise, besides a welcoming address and an opening address, an important keynote address and a valuable address by the Guest of Honour.
In addition, the titles of subjects due to be discussed at the sessions that will follow the inaugural plenary session are indicative of the rich exposure available at the consultation. Themes listed under the head of session 1 (Wednesday) “Expanding regional broadband connectivity” include:- “Broadband for risk mitigation and socio-economic progress” and “ESCAP’s role in developing an intergovernmental cooperation framework for regional connectivity” . Similarly the following titles of Session 2 entitled “ICT innovation and resilience building” are good pointers:- “Broadband for smarter knowledge-networked societies”, “Big data, open innovation and knowledge-networked systems” and “Perspectives on the near-future ICT evolutions”. Themes planned for Sessions 3-6 scheduled for Thursday entitled respectively “Promoting digital inclusion”, “Establishing an enabling cross-border legal environment for regional connectivity”, “The United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts, 2005 – National implementation” and “Building an enabling national and international legal environment for electronic single windows and paperless trade” give a preview of the vistas of knowledge and experience that the consultation is going to be enriched by.
The objective of the consultation is to devise ways and review best practices in using ICT connectivity for the resilient development of the region. The consultation will focus on several aspects of regional connectivity, both in terms of infrastructure and the enabling legal environment.
The Consultative Meeting is organised as a preparatory meeting to discuss and review the relevant strategies for adoption at the third session of the Committee on Information and Communications Technology (CICT).
Currently Sri Lanka holds the UNESCAP's ICT Committee chairmanship, Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, having been unanimously re-elected to the position since his first election to the prestigious chair.