New ICT Policy And Regulation Training Programme For Developing Countries

7 November 2006 - Statement By Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts At The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2006, Antalya, Turkey.

Statement By Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts At The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2006 on 7 November 2006, Antalya, Turkey.

Honourable Heads of State and Ministers,
Secretary-General of the ITU,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen.

1. Information and communications technology (ICT) has the power to shape the progress of the human race. This rapidly changing and pervasive technology will impact on the way we learn, work, communicate and spend our leisure time. In this Information Society, all governments must engage their people, public and private sectors to put in place the hard and soft infrastructure as well as to equip citizens with the skills to fully utilise ICT.

2. This Plenipotentiary Conference is an important forum to address these issues. We will also decide on the Union's leadership and make policy recommendations to guide the Union in its work. At last year's World Summit on the Information Society the global community made a firm resolve to ensure that ICT improve and benefit humanity. This theme must become the driving force behind ITU's new leadership and policies. PP06 will need to explore how ICT can be better deployed for the betterment and realisation of the fruits of an Information Society for all.

3. Civil society organisations (CSO) and the ICT business sector bring with them valuable experience from the industry and user community. Their participation in the work of ITU will provide a more varied and multi-stakeholder debate which reflects the realities of the ICT market and the Information Society. As global development of the Information Society puts a strain on the resources of ITU to respond speedily to the challenges and opportunities, it is timely for PP06 to study ways of engaging CSO and the ICT business sector to share this burden.

4. Singapore attaches importance to strategic planning to harness the potential of ICT for economic and social progress. In June this year we launched our 6th ICT Masterplan entitled Intelligent Nation 2015 or "iN twenty-fifteen" to embed ICT in all aspects of our social and economic development. iN2015 will benefit all Singaporeans, including the elderly, the less privileged and the disabled, so that they can participate fully in the Information Society.

5. One of the key initiatives of iN2015 Masterplan is to build Singapore's Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure. This will provide homes, schools and business premises amongst others with ultra high speed broadband access. Outside the homes and business premises, broadband access will be supported by a pervasive and integrated island-wide wireless network. Singapore offers broadband connectivity anywhere, anytime and on any device.

6. We have a recognised and proven track record in developing and implementing innovative e-Government solutions over the last 25 years. In recent years, we have received many requests to replicate the Singapore model. We are delighted with the interest in our experience. To take this sharing of experience to a higher level, I am pleased to announce that we have established the Singapore e-Government Leadership Centre for training of ICT policy makers and telecoms regulators.

7. The e-Government Leadership Centre will offer training programmes in the area of e-Government strategy, policies and implementation. It will also offer a capacity building programme for telecommunications policy makers and regulators. This programme has been specially designed for participants from developing countries. We have therefore initiated discussion with the Bureau for Telecommunication Development to explore how Singapore and the BDT can work together to offer such training to ITU members. We are confident that those who come will find the training instructive and helpful as they embark on their own ICT development.

8. Let me close by expressing our thanks and deep appreciation to the Government and people of Turkey for their generous hospitality and efficient organisation of this Plenipotentiary Conference in the beautiful and historic city of Antalya.

9. Thank you.