Statement by the Republic of Maldives
At World Summit on the Information Society+10 Second Preperatory Committee
New York, 20 October 2015
Thank you Co-Faciitator,
The Delegation of Maldives wish to support the statement delivered on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), and make these additional remarks in our national capacity.
For a country that is spread across an area of 90,000 square kilo meters, and with a population dispersed among nearly 200 separate islands, the power of communications technology is immense. The Government of Maldives therefore places special emphasis in developing the necessary infrastructure and services for ICT in order to reap the benefits of the Information Society.
We believe, like many others, that this draft provides a sound basis for our negotiations. And we would like to provide some suggestions for further strengthening the draft.
We would like to agree with our G77 and AOSIS colleagues, that we need stronger language on strengthening language around the participation of the developing countries in discussions on the matter. There is a need across the board, to make the voices of developing countries heard louder and more frequently in matters relating to their own development.
Secondly, we would also agree with Member States, who have expressed their view that ICTs could play a major role in realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For example, the role of ICTs in health care provision, and education provision is immense, especially where populations are highly dispersed. In the Maldives, we have experienced the use of telemedicine to provide much needed specialist care at a distance. This has proven to help eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would most often not be available in some islands. Therefore, we would ask that language around the linkages between the 2030 Development Agenda and the WSIS process be strengthened.
The use of ICTs in disasters cannot be overemphasised as well; especially to SIDS like the Maldives. Maldives is a country with a highest degree of mobile network penetration. And this has proven to be immensely useful in relaying information across islands. There is therefore potential role for ICTs in climate change action, as well as disaster risk management, and in also harnessing technological innovation in this regard. And we would agree with Member States who have suggested clearer language around paragraph 14, possibly through a stand-alone paragraph focusing on the role of ICTs in climate change and disaster risk management.
We look forward to further supporting you towards a fruitful outcome.
I thank you.