Transport & Communication

Extract from the Mauritius Strategy, Chapter X, Paras 55-59

55. Transport and communications remain important lifelines linking small island developing States with the outside world. While dramatic technological breakthroughs over the last decade, such as the development of the Internet and satellite communications, have mitigated the traditional isolation of small island developing States, transport and communication nevertheless remain important challenges in the promotion and implementation of sustainable development nationally and in their regions.

56. Small island developing States, with the support of the international community, should cooperate and develop viable regional transportation arrangements, including improved air, land and sea transport policies.

57. While the liberalization of telecommunications in some small island developing States has presented both opportunities and challenges, in many small island developing States there are still serious access limitations to basic telecommunications. The small size of the markets has prevented the maximization of the full value of liberalization through economies of scale.

58. Small island developing States are committed, with the necessary support of the international community to taking initiatives in such areas as access to and the use of information and communication technology (ICT), development of community multimedia centres, ICT literacy, skills development, local content and applications in building knowledge -based societies and bridging the digital divide, particularly in rural communities. There is also a continuing need for maintenance of low -tech communication solutions, such as high -frequency radio for rural and remote locations. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and other relevant organizations are invited to support these activities in a coordinated manner. In this regard, the World Summit on the Information Society is encouraged to consider small island developing States concerns and their participation in the Summit process.

59. Taking into account the objective of their national policies, small island developing States are urged to consider further liberalizing their telecommunications sector as one of the possible means to address the high cost s caused by existing monopoly service providers. In this regard, appropriate and adequate national communications regulatory frameworks will be required.

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