Baravilala: Fiji working to bridge communication gap with remote areas

Ministry of Communications Acting PS Tupou'tuah Baravilala delivers her statement at the International Telecommunications Union Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 in Bucharest, Romania. Picture: FIJI GOVERNMENT

Fiji’s Acting Permanent Secretary for Communications Tupou’tuah Baravilala delivered a statement at the International Telecommunications Union Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 in Bucharest, Romania.

The event is being attended by more than 3000 participants including heads of governments, ministers, diplomatic corp, senior government officials, regulators, technical experts, academia, and the private sector.

In her statement, Ms Baravilala shared Fiji’s efforts in continuing to develop the telecommunications sector and making historic strides in bridging the digital divide in our society, and transforming Fiji into a digital economy.

“As a matter of priority, the Fijian Government is working to bridge the remaining five percent of our population who live in the deep interiors of the two largest islands nestled between mountains, or in remote and maritime communities”, said Ms Baravilala.

She said an open, secure, stable, accessible, and peaceful cyberspace is crucial to fully realise the Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure long-term financial security and prosperity.

She also called for the urgency of ensuring that ICT infrastructure is climate-resilient.

“Resilient infrastructure is required for sustainability and given Fiji’s heightened vulnerability due to adverse climatic events.  Since, 2014, we have endured 14 cyclones. It is not difficult to imagine a severe storm destroying critical infrastructure and crippling our increasingly digital economy,” said Ms Baravilala.

She also reiterated Fiji’s continued commitment to the collective vision to build a more digital, inclusive and more resilient world.

The Fijian delegation – led by Ms Baravilala – comprise Department of Communications principal engineer Vivek Anand, and the First Secretary at the Fiji Mission in Geneva, Shanil Dutt.

The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference that began September 26 will conclude on October 14.

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