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Australia endorses global ICT(Information and communication technologies) action plan.

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15 December 2003 31/03

Australia has joined 175 other countries in endorsing a common vision and action plan for the future of the global information society.

The United Nation's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Geneva from 10-12 December 2003, adopted a Declaration of Principles and an Action Plan that will help governments, communities and the private sector to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve world living standards.

The Action Plan will also reinforce international efforts and policies to enhance cyber security and to manage spam, or unsolicited mail.

Australia was represented at the Summit by a delegation of government and community representatives, led by John Rimmer, Chief Executive Officer of the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE).

The delegation emphasised Australia's commitment to continue to use ICTs to support developing countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. This commitment is reflected in the Virtual Colombo Plan, an Australian Government aid program launched in partnership with the World Bank.

The Australian delegation also discussed the Australian Government's domestic achievements in improving the access to ICT and telecommunications services for remote indigenous Australians through initiatives such as the $8.3 million Telecommunications Action Plan for Remote Indigenous Communities (TAPRIC).

The Australia Government welcomes the Summit's progress in Internet governance, with the announcement of a new United Nations-led study into this important area. The second phase of the Summit, to be held in Tunis in 2005, will aim to advance the development of effective national and regional information economy strategies.

The WSIS Action Plan is available from the World Summit website:

The Australian Country Statement to the WSIS, which sets out Australia's information economy policy, is available from the NOIE website:

Media Contact: Carina Tan-Van Baren (02) 6277 7480 or 0439 425 373