Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway Subregional Steering Group preparatory meeting for North and Central Asia

3 Jul 2018
Baku, Azerbaijan

The 73rd session of the ESCAP Commission in May 2017 adopted resolution 73/6 on the implementation of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS) through regional cooperation. The resolution invited members and associate members to cooperate in the implementation of the Master Plan for the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway and the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway Regional Cooperation Framework Document as endorsed by the Committee on Information and Communications Technology, Science, Technology and Innovation at its first session in 2016.

The also invited members and associate members to promote broad-based partnerships, including North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation and highlighting the importance of such partnerships, for the implementation of the Master Plan for the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway and the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway Regional Cooperation Framework Document.

In response, ESCAP co-hosted with Bangladesh the first session of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS) Steering Committee, 1-2 November 2017, Dhaka, Bangladesh. One of the objectives of meeting was to facilitate discussions and proposals from ESCAP member States on the regional and subregional implementation plans of the AP-IS initiative. Several members States from North and Central Asia participated and contributed to the meeting. In particular, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia highlighted key issues such as development of neutral Internet exchange points, efficient internet traffic management, transition to Internet Protocol version 6, infrastructure sharing, digital trade, and promoting cross-border connectivity through the Trans-Eurasian Information Superhighway (TASIM) project as key priorities that the AP-IS Subregional implementation plan for North and Central Asia could address.

Against this background, the objectives of the subregional meeting are to: a). discuss between member States and other key stakeholders on the key priorities to be addressed by the AP-IS initiative at the subregional level (subregional plan); and b). update member States on the progress of the TASIM project.

The meeting is expected to produce a subregional implementation plan in partnerships with international and regional organizations for 2018 and beyond. The progress made in the implementation of the AP-IS Master Plan will be reported to the 2nd Session of the AP-IS Steering Committee Meeting, 27-28 August 2018, and the 2nd Session of the ESCAP Committee on Information and Communications Technology, Science and Innovation (CICTSTI) scheduled for 29-31 August 2018, UNCC, Bangkok, Thailand.

The Meeting will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan on 3 July 2018 (to be confirmed).

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