Ministerial Statements
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Telecommunications and Information
Saint Petersburg, Russia, 8 Aug 2012
2012 APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting
Saint Petersburg Declaration - Building Confidence and Security in the Use of ICT to Promote Economic Growth and Prosperity

  1. We, APEC Ministers responsible for the Telecommunications and Information Industry, gathered in St. Petersburg, Russia, from 7-8 August 2012 for a meeting with the theme “Building Confidence and Security in the Use of ICT to Promote Economic Growth and prosperity”.


  2. We welcome the 2011 APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration “Toward a Seamless Regional Economy”, where the APEC Leaders affirmed that our region is now the vanguard for global growth, a status that we have achieved through steady commitment to the APEC mission of regional economic integration and to the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment.


  3. We note that further liberalization of trade and investment activities in the Asia Pacific region and the strengthening of regional economic integration remain the key common goals of APEC towards achieving regional prosperity, stability and sustainable growth.


  4. We welcome the APEC Economic Leaders’ commitment to implement the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules to reduce barriers to information flows and enhance consumer privacy, and promote interoperability across regional data privacy regimes. All stakeholders in the APEC region should cooperate to promote network integrity and resilience; consider existing and potential threats to information and communication technologies (ICT); and take measures to improve ICT security.


  5. We reaffirm that widespread access and use of modern ICT, such as broadband infrastructure and applications, remain the crucial driver for further integration in the APEC region and are closely related to bridging the digital divide and the provision of broadband, which are imperative steps for businesses and consumers to establish relationships. This will lead to greater potential in commercial and economic activities as well as establishing reliable and efficient supply chains.


  6. We appreciate the important progress made by the Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TEL) towards achieving the above-mentioned goals and objectives through its activities, including the sharing of regulatory frameworks and best practices, improving awareness and education on cyber security and cyber safety, submarine cable protection, security of the mobile environment and international mobile roaming issues. We encourage TEL’s efforts to continue its work on emerging cyber security and safety issues.


  7. We acknowledge that the development of the ubiquitous network society built on advances in ICT will provide social and economic benefits to the Asia-Pacific region. Concerted efforts from all stakeholders will contribute to the continued development of this society.


  8. We acknowledge the importance of the continuing development of the Asia-Pacific Information Society (APIS) to facilitate the implementation of internationally harmonized goals in the field of social and economic development.


  9. We reaffirm the necessity of multi-stakeholder cooperation to expand and strengthen the Asia-Pacific Information Infrastructure (APII) and to build confidence and security in the use of ICT. This confidence will help to encourage greater uptake of ICT, which will promote economic growth and prosperity in the region. We will facilitate further interaction among academic institutions, research centers and such companies, including cooperation in the field of enhancing human potential for the benefit of people in the APEC region.


  10. We note the importance of the work of other relevant international fora and regional bodies, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to the work of TEL. We also note the need for TEL to consider the synergies and linkages of the work of these bodies with that of TEL. In this context we encourage member economies to recognize the importance and significance of the upcoming overall review of World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) outcomes (WSIS+10), which will seek to identify emerging trends and a vision beyond 2015.


  11. We acknowledge the increased contribution of the ICT industry toward ensuring human safety, food and energy security, as well as providing practical solutions for a broad spectrum of global challenges related to green growth and emergency situations, which are of special significance to our region.


  12. We welcome the APEC TEL Chair’s Report and commend TEL’s efforts in implementing the APEC TEL Strategic Action Plan 2010-2015. Moving forward, we urge TEL to advance its work, focusing on the following areas:


  13. Developing ICT to Promote New Growth

  14. We acknowledge the efforts made by member economies to develop ICT infrastructure. We reaffirm the goal of achieving universal access to broadband by 2015, as stated in the Bangkok Declaration, 2008. We encourage member economies to work towards achieving affordable access to quality broadband in the APEC region by 2015.


  15. We call upon TEL to continue its activities towards achieving access to the next generation of high-speed broadband networks and services by 2020, as stated in the 2010 Okinawa Declaration, to further enhance the growth of knowledge-based economies in the APEC region.


  16. We note that the rapid introduction of broadband to unserved and underserved areas will be a key factor for bridging the digital divide, and in order to meet the goal in the region, greater efforts are essential to develop and use both fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure as well as its technologies.


  17. Given the rapid growth of both fixed and mobile communication devices requiring unique Internet addresses in all member economies, we welcome TEL’s continuous efforts to progress transition to IPv6, as expressed in the TEL IPv6 Guidelines. We encourage TEL to cooperate with all stakeholders to achieve this goal.


  18. We acknowledge the efforts to promote and enhance cooperation in the field of ICT with a view to further enhancing the development and adoption of ICT in the APEC region.  We recognize that increase of the access to e-Government, as well as other ICT applications, needs to be a priority.


  19. We also recognize that ICT skills and training provide the foundation for human resource development and sustainable growth in ICT in the APEC region, and encourage new initiatives to improve ICT skills and to provide training programs.


  20. Enhancing Socio-Economic Activities through the Use of ICT

  21. We recognize the significance of ensuring full participation in the digital economy for people with special needs, and we encourage TEL to continue implementing and developing the strategies to make ICT more accessible to all.


  22. We call on TEL to encourage economies to share best practices in ICT, including e-Government, e-Business, e-Health and other ICT applications, to help address economic, social, technical and other problems as we progress towards achieving the APEC goals. We encourage openness as well as new initiatives and projects in promoting ICT applications, with contributions of all stakeholders.


  23. Recalling the Leaders’ Declaration of 2007 on global environmental challenges, we note the importance of ICT for addressing global issues, including the scarcity of energy and other resources, and environmental degradation. We acknowledge the potential of ICT in improving energy efficiency and recommend that TEL continue its efforts to share ICT best practices to achieve a better environment.


  24. We acknowledge that frequent natural disasters, such as typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis, cause severe damage to member economies. ICT plays a vital role in early warning, relief, rescue and disaster mitigation as well as reconstruction efforts. We encourage the cooperation of member economies to improve disaster response and recovery through the development of ICT and promotion of appropriate systems and technologies, including cloud computing and sensor networks. We welcome the initial steps taken by TEL to discuss a new paradigm for people rescue in cases of any disasters and emergencies. We support the goal of increasing human safety through the use of ICT.


  25. Promoting Safe and Trusted ICT Environment

  26. We promote the efforts of member economies to expand ICT literacy and help ensure that everyone has the skills, ability and access to benefit fully from the information economy.


  27. We are aware of the growing dependence of our society on ICT, as well as possible serious social and economic consequences following the use of ICT for criminal and other malicious purposes. For economies to continue to enjoy the benefits of ICT use, practical cooperation is needed to ensure a safe and secure ICT environment, sharing best practices, information sharing, technical cooperation, training and education.  Increasing users’ trust in information and communication services will allow ICT to further contribute to sustainable growth in the APEC region.


  28. We encourage member economies to recognize our shared responsibility in addressing ICT security issues and combating cybercrime.  We reinforce the need for economies to continue to work together towards ensuring a trusted, secure and sustainable online environment in partnership with multiple stakeholders, including international organizations and the private sector. We support the TEL’s efforts to increase cyber security collaboration and capacity building.  We commend the work of TEL to build capacity to address cybercrime, foster cooperation among cyber-incident response teams, and effectively share information between member economies.  We affirm the TEL’s efforts to raise cyber security awareness and seek to strengthen these efforts through cooperative activities like APEC Cyber Security Awareness Day.


  29. We believe it possible and necessary to be more active in promoting trusted electronic environments globally by encouraging secure cross-border flows of information, including electronic documents. This would provide for member economies to experience greater economic growth and prosperity. We also encourage TEL to explore future initiatives and projects that may assist member economies to meet these goals.


  30. We reaffirm the importance of a trusted environment to allow greater interaction among governments, businesses and consumers, as well as between individuals.


  31. We emphasize the need to protect consumers and therefore call upon all member economies to enhance mutual cooperation to increase protection of ICT and infrastructure services.


  32. We acknowledge that vulnerable groups, especially children and young people are particularly susceptible to threats in an online environment. Therefore, we call upon each economy to implement, as a matter of priority, strategies to counteract these threats, including the promotion of cyber safety and cyber security education and awareness for children, young people and their parents with a view to encouraging appropriate online behavior. We also recommend that economies continue to cooperate to protect children online, and that TEL collaborate with other relevant international organizations, particularly the OECD and acknowledge the efforts of the ITU and others in this area.


  33. Promoting Regional Economic Integration

  34. We acknowledge that, in line with the Bogor Goals, TEL continues to support open and free trade and investment in ICT. We support TEL’s efforts in enhancing cooperation in the region through the exchange of information on policies to facilitate the development of free and open trade and investment in the APEC region. We encourage member economies to actively exchange knowledge and experience to promote competition and investments in the market.


  35. We support continued efforts of member economies towards reducing international mobile roaming costs, which will provide benefits to consumers and businesses, as well as promote economic integration across the region.


  36. We note that the implementation of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunication Equipment (MRA-CA) and the Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Equivalence of Technical Requirements (MRA-ETR), amongst others, will contribute to increased trade in telecommunications equipment within the APEC region. We encourage member economies, where feasible within their regulatory and policy framework, to implement both the MRA-CA and MRA-ETR.


  37. We encourage economies to continue sharing experiences and best practices, in particular those relating to the use of ICT to improve regional economic cooperation in areas like healthcare, education, energy, environment, the control of emergency situations and government service delivery.


  38. Strengthening Cooperation in the ICT Sector

  39. We recognize that the digital divide in the APEC region remains a challenge for the society to reap the full benefits arising from ICT. We therefore encourage TEL to give priority to ensuring access to information through the development of infrastructure and promoting citizens capabilities for improved ICT usage.


  40. We recommend that TEL continue its close cooperation with other APEC fora and increase coordination of activities relating to ICT. We also recommend that TEL collaborate with other international fora, such as the ITU, APT and OECD, as well as the technical and administrative bodies linked to the Internet, to take advantage of synergies and eliminate duplication of effort.


  41. Moving Forward

  42. We agree to present this Declaration to the 20th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and the 24th APEC Ministerial Meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, September 2012.


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

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