(CNS Local Life): Minister for Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Joey Hew recently attended the annual Commonwealth Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) Forum in London. The biennial meeting, held 18-20 June and first convened in 2014, is an opportunity for Commonwealth ICT ministers to discuss matters of common interest to pave the way for building consensus.
The forum emphasised the outcomes of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018, stated a press release. The theme for this year’s event is “Committed leadership: harbouring a roadmap for ICT enabled growth”, which focuses on leveraging ICTs for prosperity.
One of the key outcomes of the CHOGM was the adoption of a declaration on cyber security which commits to:
- A cyberspace that supports economic and social development rights online
- Building the foundations of an effective national cyber security response
- Promoting stability in cyberspace though international cooperation.
The first component of the forum was a closed-door meeting for ministers and their advisors, which was followed by a two-day open ministers’ forum.
The open forum allows Commonwealth regulatory bodies, ICT sector companies, civil society and interested parties an opportunity to engage on the various policy issues with participating Commonwealth ICT ministries, said the release.
The outcomes of the closed-door meeting were presented 19 June, and showcased best practices across the industry. The interactive programme allowed for further policy and technical discussions.
At this year’s open forum, the following issues were discussed:
- Finance and investment opportunities
- Enabling regulatory environments
- Expanding the reach of broadband
- Commonwealth ICT and Industry Awards
- Over-the-top services
- Privacy and cybersecurity
- ICTs for disaster management
On Tuesday, 19 June, Hew took part in a panel on “Leadership for ICT-Enabled Growth”, which included Toulon Zhao, Secretary General International Telecommunications Union; Detlef Eckert, Vice President Government Affairs Huawei; Dr Andrew Wheatley, Minister Science Energy & Technology, Jamaica; Manoj Sinha, Minister of State Telecommunications, Republic of India; and moderator Gisa Fuatai Purcell, Director ICT Development, Commonwealth Telecoms Organisation (CTO).
Hew said of the event: “It was a great honour and a real privilege to be a part of this important forum and to participate on a panel discussion focused on digital feadership. Not only did it enable a widening knowledge of developments in the industry, but also the opportunity to share thought leadership and best practices in this industry from the Cayman Islands perspective”.
He added, “The week also provided opportunities to have bilateral meetings with member countries such as India and others that were focused on issues related to digital IDs, cloud system technologies for small business, mobile payments and other phone-to-phone services. We also engaged in discussions with satellite companies offering data provisions on the role it plays in redundancy and recovery from natural disasters.”
Calling the reception of the CTO to his group “encouraging”, he said, “the event also enabled other bilateral discussions on issues such training methods, infrastructure and development of modern digital policies”.