Skip to main content

29 August 2022, 09:30 - 17:00 UTC +7 | By invitation only

Banner2-APISSC6-20220827

The rapid adoption of digital technologies, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has transformed socioeconomic activities across the Asia-Pacific region. Digital technologies not only generated opportunities for people, but also revealed the digital divide.

In response, the United Nations Secretary General has called for global actions through the implementation of the “Roadmap for Digital Cooperation: implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation”,[1] and “Our Common Agenda”, in particular the seventh commitment to “Improve digital cooperation”[2], which emphasizes the need to connect all people to the Internet, avoid Internet fragmentation, and protect data, among others.

At the regional level, the ESCAP Resolution 75/7 promotes the implementation of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS) initiative through regional cooperation to bridge the digital divide. [3] In addition, the Committee on Information and Communications Technology, Science, Technology and Innovation (CICTSTI-3), at its third session, recommended that the secretariat set up a drafting group to develop an Action Plan for the next phase of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway, for consideration and adoption by the CICTSTI at its fourth session (CICTSTI-4), to be held in 2022.

Subsequently, the secretariat supported member States to develop an Action Plan[4] for implementation of the AP-IS initiative, and it was adopted by the AP-IS Steering Committee at its fifth session on 25 November 2021.[5] The Action Plan serves as a blueprint for regional cooperative actions to bridge the digital divide and accelerate digital transformation. It consists of 25 actions centred on three pillars: “Connectivity for all”; “Digital technologies and applications”; and “Digital data”. Three Working Group (WG) Bureaus have been established to implement each pillar.[6]

Against this background, the secretariat is convening the sixth session of the AP-IS Steering Committee on 29 August 2022. The Steering Committee meeting will be organized sequentially with CICTSTI-4 to present the draft AP-IS Action Plan 2022-2026 for its adoption, which will be held in the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand from 30 August to 1 September 2022.

[1] A/74/821.

[2] Our Common Agenda – Report of the Secretary-General (United Nations publication, 2021). Available at https://www.un.org/en/content/common-agenda-report/assets/pdf/Common_Agenda_Report_English.pdf

[3] ESCAP/RES/75/7.

[4] United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, “Outcome Report: Fifth Session of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway Steering Committee”, virtual meeting, 25 November 2021. Available at https://www.unescap.org/sites/default/d8files/event-documents/AP-IS%20Action%20Plan%202022-2026_Final.pdf

[5] The Action Plan supports the UN Secretary General’s Common Agenda on Improving Digital Global Cooperation and the Action Lines of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to connect all people to the Internet, avoid Internet fragmentation, protect data, and promote digital commons as a global public good.

[6] Details of Bureau members can be accessed at United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, “Outcome Report: Fifth Session of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway Steering Committee”, virtual meeting, 25 November 2021. Available at https://www.unescap.org/sites/default/d8files/event-documents/Outcome%20Document%20AP-IS%20SC-5%20FINAL_0.pdf

for more information, please contact

Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division [email protected]