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2010 APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting

Okinawa, Japan | 30 - 31 October 2010

1. We, APEC Ministers responsible for the Telecommunications and Information Industry, gathered in Okinawa, Japan from 30-31 October 2010 under the theme "ICT as an Engine for New Socio-economic Growth."

2. We welcome the APEC Leaders' Declaration on "Sustaining Growth, Connecting the Region" in Singapore, 2009, in which APEC Leaders recognized the importance of an expanded trade and investment agenda for strengthening regional economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region. The APEC Leaders also committed to putting in place a comprehensive long-term growth strategy that supports more balanced growth within and across economies, achieves greater inclusiveness in our societies, sustains our environment, and seeks to raise our growth potential through innovation and a knowledge-based economy.

3. We reaffirm that information and communications technologies (ICT) are crucial to drive further development of a robust and innovative global economy and ICT is a key to realizing the APEC Leaders' Growth Strategy. We recognize that the development of a ubiquitous network society realized by advances in ICT leads to shared benefits and encourage general economic and social growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

4. We acknowledge the importance of the continued development of Asia-Pacific Information Society (APIS) to achieving innovative growth and reaffirm the necessity for governments and the private sector to form partnerships to expand and strengthen the Asia-Pacific Information Infrastructure (APII), which facilitates increasing information and communication flow.

5. We recognize the significance of 2010 as the target year for industrialized APEC economies to achieve the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment. We also reaffirm that a free and fair competitive environment contributes to the sound development of the telecommunications and information industry. We appreciate the progress made towards achieving the Bogor Goals and encourage the Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TEL) to undertake greater efforts in the ICT sector to support these Goals.

6. We note the contribution of telecommunications and information industries to managing human security in supporting new growth and realizing trade and investment liberalization in APEC economies.

7. We welcome the APEC TEL Chair's Report and commend TEL's efforts in promoting ICT development. Looking forward, we endorse TEL's Strategic Action Plan to advance its work focusing on the following areas:

Develop ICT to Promote New Growth

8. We welcome that APEC economies largely achieve the Brunei Goal of universal Internet access by 2010, approved by Leaders in 2000.

9. We acknowledge comprehensive efforts made by APEC economies to further develop their ICT infrastructure. We reaffirm our commitment toward achieving the goal of universal access to broadband in the APEC region by 2015, contained in the previous Minister's Bangkok Declaration in 2008, and welcomed by the Leaders' Declaration in Singapore in 2009. We encourage TEL's continued efforts toward the realization of the goal. We recognize that the free pool of IPv4 addresses is expected to be exhausted around 2012, and the transition to IPv6 will facilitate the achievement of universal broadband access in the APEC region. We support the IPv6 Guidelines developed by TEL.

10. We recommend that the TEL works toward achieving the ambitious goal of access to next generation high speed broadband by 2020 to expand and improve ICT infrastructure for knowledge-based economies in the APEC region.

11. While we continue to encourage the use of all forms of information and communications technologies in a technology-neutral manner for infrastructure development, we recognize the widespread use of wireless communications as an important means to promote more efficient deployment of ICT infrastructure in the APEC region.

12. To enable people with special needs to fully participate in the digital economy, we encourage TEL to develop and implement strategies to make ICT more accessible to all people.

Enhance Socio-Economic Activities through the Use of ICT

13. The development of ICT infrastructure is one of the key issues for our industries and society more generally. Recalling the 2007 Leaders' Declaration on global environmental issues, we recognize the ability of ICT to address global problems such as energy and resource constraints and environmental degradation. We therefore welcome the 2009 Leaders' Declaration that encouraged ongoing efforts toward using ICT to address socio-economic challenges.

14. In this respect, we welcome the proposed "Smart ICT Application Initiative" aimed at delivering positive socio-economic outcomes in various areas, including the environment, emergency response, medicine, education, energy efficiency and administrative services. We encourage TEL to do the following: promote the sharing of best practices for applying ICT in the region; address economic, technical and other challenges; and review progress towards these objectives by 2015.

15. We recognize ICT's capacity to improve energy efficiency. We encourage TEL to continue its efforts to share best practices with regards to the use of ICT for environmental benefits. Such benefits are derived from the energy efficiency of ICT devices and networks such as data centers as well as from other ICT applications that can reduce energy usage and decrease the carbon foot print from various economic and social activities. We also encourage TEL to cooperate with other organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), on the development of methodologies to evaluate ICT's contribution to mitigating environmental loads, and to promote technologies such as Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).

16. We recognize the role that emerging services and technologies such as cloud computing and grid computing will play in providing flexible and cost effective access to ICT. In this context, we commend TEL's collaborative efforts in cloud computing, and grid computing, recently demonstrated via the Second Grid Showcase last year. We acknowledge, however, the need for TEL to work towards establishing a safe and secure environment for the use of these services and technologies.

17. We recognize that frequent natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis cause severe damage to economies in the APEC region and reconfirm the vital role played by ICT in early warning, rescue and relief operations, as well as recovery efforts. We encourage enhanced collaboration in the APEC region aimed at better responding to disasters by developing and promoting appropriate networks and technologies that improve information sharing and cooperation.

Promote a Safe and Trusted ICT Environment

18. We recognize that our society is becoming increasingly dependent on ICT, which means that online threats can have a major social and economic impact. The safety, security, trustworthiness, and reliability of ICT in the APEC region are crucial to ensuring ICT's important contribution to sustainable growth.

19. We emphasize the need for enhanced measures to address malicious online activities. We also recognize that a safe and trusted ICT environment is facilitated, in part, through strengthened consumer protection measures, which include effective policies that protect personal information protection practices and promote the security of networked systems.

20. We therefore encourage each economy to enhance mutual cooperation on countering malicious online activities, to engage in efforts to increase cybersecurity awareness and to share information on protecting ICT. These efforts need to align with efforts by and in collaboration with industry partners, the Internet technical community and all other relevant stakeholders including Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecom operators as well as regional and other international organizations. Such efforts will foster a more secure online environment that protects ICT networks and users and secures access to information in an appropriate manner.

21. We note that vulnerable groups, especially children and juveniles, are often exposed to online threats. We therefore encourage each economy to put in place, as a matter of priority, strategies to combat these threats. We also recommend that economies cooperate within the region and that TEL continues to collaborate with other international organizations such as the OECD to promote policies that would facilitate protection of vulnerable groups from online threats.

22. Accordingly, we acknowledge the creation and observance of APEC Cybersecurity Awareness Day in conjunction with TELMIN8 in order to recognize recent cybersecurity awareness raising efforts and to reinforce our shared responsibility in addressing cybersecurity.

Promote Regional Economic Integration

23. We commend TEL's continued efforts to promote free and open trade and investment in ICT consistent with the Bogor Goals. In this regard, we support TEL's Guide on Telecommunications Elements of Regional Trade Agreements and Free Trade Agreements, which highlights the key principles and disciplines that promote greater liberalization and competition within the telecommunications sector. We also recognize TEL's efforts to encourage cooperation within the region by sharing information on the policies and regulations facilitating the development of free and open markets in the APEC region. We encourage member economies to actively exchange knowledge and experience to facilitate streamlined regulatory measures that encourage competition and investment in APEC economies.

24. We acknowledge TEL for its work on Mutual Recognition Arrangements. We encourage economies, where feasible within their regulatory and policy framework, to implement the Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications equipment (MRA-CA). We support TEL's Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Equivalence of Technical Requirement (MRA-ETR). We recognize that both MRA-CA and MRA-ETR will contribute to facilitating trade of telecommunications equipment within the APEC region.

25. We recognize that reducing excessive costs of international mobile roaming provides direct benefits to businesses, consumers and regional economies. We commend TEL for its commitment to this effort, such as its development of strategies and measures to educate consumers regarding international mobile roaming costs. Specifically we support TEL's Guidelines on the Provision of Consumer Information on International Mobile Roaming.

26. International submarine cables are an important enabler for regional economic integration. We acknowledge TEL's continued efforts to enhance the protection of submarine cables by raising awareness about the criticality of this infrastructure and consolidating information to help economies to expedite cable repairs.

Strengthen Cooperation in the ICT Sector

27. ICT has an important role to play in strengthening supply-chain connectivity in the APEC region. We encourage discussions within the APEC region on the use of ICT to enhance socio-economic outcomes in various areas such as health care, education, energy, the environment and disaster management.

28. We acknowledge that the digital divide in the APEC region remains an obstacle to accessing the full benefits offered by ICT. We recognize that enhancing opportunities to access information through initiatives such as infrastructure development need to be a priority.

29. We recommend that TEL continues to collaborate with other APEC fora, and enhance coordination of ICT related activities. We also encourage TEL to enhance cooperation with other international organizations such as the ITU, APT, OECD and Internet-related technical and administrative bodies to enhance outcomes and remove any duplication of efforts.

30. We acknowledge the need for human resource development and personnel exchanges that provide the foundation for balanced and sustainable growth in ICT and affirm the necessity for addressing these challenges as key contributions to public services and business in the APEC region.

Moving forward

31. We agree to present this Declaration to the 18th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the 22nd APEC Ministerial Meeting in Yokohama, Japan in November 2010.

32. We request TEL to report on the implementation of this Declaration to the next APEC TELMIN.