Incheon, Republic of Korea - 16 Jun 2006

UN-APCICT celebrates its official opening, presided over by UNESCAP, at Songdo Techno Park in Incheon, Republic of Korea on 16 June 2006. The first meeting of the Technical Committee and the inaugural session of the Governing Council of UN-APCICT, was held on 14 June 2006 and 15-16 June 2006 respectively in conjunction with the inauguration of UN-APCICT. An MOU with Microsoft was also signed during the opening ceremony.

Press Release No: G/29/2006

Bangkok (United Nations Information Services), 16 June 2006 - The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) opened today its first Information and Communication Technology for Development Training Centre in Incheon, Republic of Korea.

The United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT) aims to improve knowledge and productivity for long-term economic growth and sustainable development of the region.

The Centre is located in the Metropolitan City of Incheon and is expected to contribute to bridging the digital divide through providing training to policy makers, ICT professionals and trainers, and assisting in the sharing best practices in the area of ICT development among member and associate member countries of UNESCAP.

“Although the development and application of ICT in some countries of Asia and the Pacific is dynamic, a large number of developing countries lag behind in terms of access to and application of ICT, “ said Mr. Kim Hak-Su, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNESCAP.

“Rapid developments in ICT have dramatically changed employment patterns and human resource requirements. Furthermore, the global integration of the human resource market in some ICT sectors, such as outsourcing, offers new opportunities and challenges for the entire region and, in particular, for the developing countries, ”he said.

"Since the 1990s , the Republic of Korea started to actively promote informatization by the government which provided a clear vision, initiated investment, and as a response, the private sector made active investment into the sector as well. As a result, the Republic of Korea is now equipped with the world's best fixed-line and wireless telecom infrastructure and has become the IT powerhouse that boasts the highest number of Internet usage,” said H.E.Mr. Jun –Hyoung, Minster of Information and Communication of the Republic of Korea.

In addition to the inauguration ceremony of the first Asia’s Information Communication Technology Centre, today Microsoft signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UNESCAP pledging support for the Centre. The MOU was signed by Mr. Kim Hak-Su, UNESCAP Executive Secretary and Mr. Eduarado Rosini, Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific of Microsoft.

Under the terms of MOU, Microsoft will support the APCICT in a variety of ways including the provision of software and services, and assistance in the development of a technology and training roadmap for the Centre. Microsoft will also provide ICT education, certification, and support to UN-APCICT trainers.

The ICT training centre being inaugurated in the Republic of Korea in month of June when the first computer was installed in the country in 1967 and has since been celebrated as the “information month” since 1988.