ECO Ministers of ICT met in Baku
The 2nd Meeting of the Ministers of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) of the ECO Member States was held on 5th December 2017 in Baku. The Meeting was attended by high level delegations from Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkey and Turkmenistan. Delegation from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) headed by H.E. Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General also attended the Meeting. Director General of “Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communications (RCC)” also participated at the invitation of the Government of Azerbaijan.
At the inaugural Session, the Meeting was briefed by H.E. Halil Ibrahim Akca, ECO Secretary General, on major deliberations and recommendations of the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), held on 4th December 2017, notably on implementation of two phases of regional studies in line with the mandate provided by the 1st Meeting of ECO Ministers, addressing respectively ICT needs of the ECO Member States, and the assessment of status of ICT application in ECO Member States, including in health, education and agriculture.
The “2025 ECO Regional Strategy for Information Society Development” and proposed “Plan of Action” was agreed by Ministerial meeting to serve as a framework for future joint activities in the field of ICT under the umbrella of ECO. In order to make proper follow up on concrete activities/projects as highlighted by the “strategy pillars”, it was decided to establish a Working Group which will regularly meet and update required data and, if needed, make revisions to respond to new and emerging needs of the Member States.
Baku Declaration was also adopted unanimously by the Meeting to serve as basic guiding document for strengthening and enhancing the regional cooperation via exploring the latest trends and benefits of ICT in the interest of the ECO Member States.
On the sidelines of the Meeting, ECO Secretary General met with ITU Secretary General, where ITU was informed about ECO’s major ongoing projects in various sectors, notably on the tangible developments achieved in the sector of energy and transport. ITU official expressed satisfaction with the level of attachment demonstrated by both ECO Secretariat and the Member States to mandated subjects and indicated readiness to strengthen cooperation with and contribution to further ICT related follow-ups of the ECO Region. Both sides expressed willingness to continue joint cooperation in the field of ICT.