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Despite the great progress in deepening regional connectivity through information and communication technologies, Asia and the Pacific is still the most digitally divided region in the world, with less than eight per cent of the population connected to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet. As a result, millions of people are shut out from transformative digital opportunities in education, health and financial services. Women and girls, in particular, have lower levels of access to broadband Internet and other knowledge-enhancing technologies. The Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (APIS) is a region-wide intergovernmental platform. APIS aims to bridge the digital divide and accelerate digital transformation by promoting digital connectivity, digital technology and data use in the Asia Pacific region.

ESCAP member States recognised APIS as one of the useful regional platforms for promoting digital cooperation (ESCAP Resolution 78/1, May 2022, 79/10, May 2023). An APIS Action plan consists of three pillars with scoped 25 actions. Three APIS Working Groups are focused on Connectivity for All, Digital Technologies and Applications and Digital Data. This APIS action plan 2022-2026 is supporting multi-stakeholder events at a high level, like Ministerial Conferences (ref Seoul, 10 November 2022), ESCAP Committee for ICT, Science Technology and Innovation (2020, 2022), United Nations Special Programme for Central Asia (2020-2023) and its Working Group on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Development.  The APIS technical cooperation projects created online connectivity tools, an e-resilience monitoring dashboard, focused on rural-urban connectivity, clean air for sustainable ASEAN  and digital payment projects.  ESCAP website publishes analytical reports and working paper series on Asia and the Pacific digital transformation. Please refer to the brochure on APIS here

To access additional interactive content regarding the APIS implementation plan 2022 to 2026, please register at APIS thematic area at the Mighty Network (User Guide) by following the link []. This  networking space facilitates online engagement with the APIS bureau members, and academia network, enabling you to participate in discussions, build community, share information, and promote and support relevant activities of APIS action plan 2022-2026 (your website and publication URL).


SPECA Working Group on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Development

The Working Group on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Development (WG on ITSD) is a subsidiary body under the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), comprising senior policymakers, researchers, decision-makers, and implementers from the SPECA countries responsible for developing guidance and finding practical solutions to problems identified by the countries.

E-resilience for Pandemic Recovery: intercountry consultations in preparation for CICTSTI

In the fight against the pandemic digital connectivity and inclusion have become more critical than ever. The core Internet infrastructure networks takes on unprecedented importance. The capacity of technology to absorb and process big data in real-time and deliver bandwidth-intensive high-value-added services instantaneously heavily depends on the resilience of the ICT network infrastructure. In this regard, new emerging opportunities, challenges, and benefits of regional cooperation in East and North-East and North and Central Asia are rising.

Indexing risk to recover from COVID-19

Worldwide, many countries continue to experience an extended period of COVID-19 risks. There are no off-the-shelf solutions for managing such a complex crisis, in which measures to prevent transmission will have colossal economic and social costs. Countries are forced to confront hard choices of balancing the needs to save lives and to save livelihoods. The threat imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic therefore needs a systematic approach, in which the restrictions, states of lockdown and exit strategies all balance public health, societal, and economic needs.

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