During the Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum, the Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in cooperation with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), organized sessions on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and disaster risk reduction.
The Forum, which was hosted by the Kingdom of Tonga elaborated onan Action Plan for connecting the unconnected in the Pacific region by 2015 by providing affordable, accessible, reliable and secure telecommunications/ICT services.
During the Forum, JAXA and ESCAP coordinated two sessions with a view to raising awareness among decision and policy makers in National Disaster Authorities (NDA) in the Pacific about the opportunities offered by Information, Communications and Space Technology for improving national preparedness against natural disasters.
At the forum, JAXA and ESCAP presented initiatives for consideration by the Pacific countries and institutions, such as Sentinel Asia and the Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration (WINDS) satellite which was launched in 2007.
The session entitled “ICT Applications and Cybersecurity” discussed a) ESCAP's work towards the integration of ICT into disaster management and regional cooperation mechanisms, such as Sentinel Asia, and what the Pacific countries could do to take advantage of the services and information on disaster management and b) participation in a virtual network of knowledge sharing and analysis for disaster risk management.
The following session entitled “Emergency Communications and Disaster Relief” highlighted the importance of reliable and robust communication means to deliver disaster related information and services to the affected areas in the Pacific. One of the concrete initiatives presented for discussion during the session was the potential introduction of the Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration (WINDS) satellite. The participants had the opportunity to express their needs for satellite applications in disaster management and other related sectors.
Visit the event's website at the International Telecommunication Union