A meeting of Caribbean Commonwealth officials with responsibility for ICT will bring the region's eGovernance and cybercrime issues squarely into focus.The Caribbean Stakeholders' Meeting on the Importance of ICTs and their Impact on Regional Development takes place in Port-of-Spain from today to Wednesday.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar will deliver the feature address at the opening ceremony for the high-profile three-day regional meeting, which aims to strengthen the region's capacity for cyber security and online government services delivery.It is being convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology, Organisation of American States (OAS), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Microsoft and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
The ITU, OAS, CTU and Microsoft are active partners in the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative (CCI), an international programme started in 2011 to support member states in the implementation of robust cyber security programmes.The 53 member countries of the Commonwealth share similar legal systems and institutional structures, and have a long history of active collaboration on issues and concerns related to cybercrime and the Internet.
Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the CTU, will deliver the welcome address at the ceremony and greetings will be delivered by Rupert Griffith, Minister of Science and Technology, Anthony Ming, ICT Adviser to the Commonwealth Secretariat, Cleveland Thomas, ITU Caribbean representative, and Riyad Insanally, representative of the T&T Office of the OAS.
Conference delegates are expected to discuss the impact of cybercrime on social and economic development, with a view to identifying next steps in implementing e-Governance and infrastructure initiatives in identified countries. Cybercrime is a global multibillion dollar industry with untold impact on Caribbean economies.The conference will also identify and address the major infrastructure components required to deliver government services online.
By investing in electronic governance, governments across the world are saving money, delivering more effective services, and competing more effectively in the global economy. Infrastructure is a critical component to successfully implement e-governance strategies.
"An efficient, effective and secure public service is essential for economic investment and development as well as for deepening citizens' participation in policy and service delivery," a release from the CTU quoted Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Deodat Maharaj as saying.
"The Commonwealth is uniquely positioned to bring together the major regional players in ICT for development. This meeting presents a significant opportunity for collaboration by a range of stakeholders on issues that have a direct impact on citizens' lives."