11.12.2002 -

Consultations on Information Society in Asia and the Pacific

An important series of consultations on the information society in Asian and the Pacific takes place this week in Bangkok. A three-day meeting of the members of the Asia Pacific Information Network (APIN), who gather for the first time from today on, will be followed by a two-day Regional Seminar on the World Summit on the Information Society on Saturday and Sunday.

APIN, the founding meeting of which is being held from 11 to 13 December 2002, is a network formed by merging the Regional Network for the Exchange of Information and Experiences (ASTINFO), the Regional Informatics Network for Southeast Asia and the Pacific (RINSEAP) and the Regional Informatics Network for South and Central Asia (RINSCA).


APIN, that is loosely linked with UNESCO's Information for All Programme (IFAP), promotes ICT literacy and application, information and knowledge networking, sharing of information resources, and use of international standards and best practices in communication, information and informatics.


At the Founding Meeting, members of the Network, the designated National Units of UNESCO Member States in the Asia-Pacific region, will contemplate the Network's Constitution, membership of the Observatory for the Information Society, and prepare a detailed plan of action for the Network within the framework of the Information for All Programme.


The Meeting will be opened by the Permanent Secretary from the ministry of Information and Communication Technology of Thailand and will be attended by 25 government representatives and observers from 18 countries in the region.


Back to back with the Founding Meeting of APIN, the UNESCO Bangkok Office is organizing a Regional Seminar on the World Summit on the Information Society on 14-15 December 2002.


The Seminar is expected to encourage APIN National Units to discuss conditions for an equitable access for all to information, ethical matters and perspectives for acceptable content in cyberspace, as well as proposals about the best use of ICTs for improving the equitable access to information. Outputs of this Seminar are intended to be submitted to the Asian Regional Conference on WSIS in Tokyo, Japan, January 2003.

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