Building e-Learning Culture towards Knowledge-based ASEAN

ICT MINISTERS ESTABLISH ASEAN ICT FUND TO
ACCELERATE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ASEAN ICT WORK PROGRAMME

We, the ASEAN Ministers responsible for Telecommunications and Information Technology, held our fourth meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on 4-5 August 2004 to progress cooperation in ICT development including the implementation of the e-ASEAN Framework Agreement and the promotion of e-Learning culture towards a knowledge-based ASEAN.

We are pleased to announce the establishment of an ASEAN ICT Fund.  The Fund will have a quantum of USD 5 million with equal contributions by all ASEAN members. The Fund will be used to accelerate the implementation of the ASEAN ICT Work Programme.

We are also pleased to report progress made against the deliverables of the Singapore Declaration: An Action Agenda, which was endorsed at the 3rd TELMIN last year. The Declaration encapsulates initiatives towards realizing an integrated ASEAN Economic Community. 

We took steps to fortify information infrastructures in ASEAN. Each ASEAN country has committed to establishing a National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). We have also developed a Standard Operating Procedure for information-sharing among ASEAN as well as minimum requirements for CERTs. These cooperative measures will ensure a coordinated ASEAN response to cyber-threats.

Good progress has been made in the implementation of the ATRC  Sectoral Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on Conformity Assessment for Telecommunications Equipment. We applaud the commencement of the implementation of the bilateral MRAs between the Republic of Indonesia and Singapore and between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore.  Malaysia and Singapore will commence implementation of their MRA by end 2004. Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam have started initial discussions to launch an MRA.  These arrangements will serve as important pathfinders for the establishment of a network of MRAs within ASEAN which will benefit end-users by making telecommunications equipment more affordable and accessible. 

We continue to enhance ties with youths in ASEAN. We had an interesting exchange of ideas on e-learning and encouraged them to actively participate in ASEAN cooperation activities.  
We welcomed the establishment of the e-ASEAN Business Council (e-ABC). We had a fruitful dialogue with its members on topics such as infrastructure and e-learning accreditation. We agreed to conduct regular dialogues with the private sector to enhance ICT development in the region. 

We are satisfied with the significant progress made in broadening and deepening relations with our Dialogue Partners, namely China, Japan, Korea and India. This year, we held an inaugural ministerial consultation that further contributed to better mutual understanding and closer partnership. We identified possible areas of collaboration including broadband deployment, cybersecurity capacity building, adoption ICT use for the disabled and elderly, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and virtual network of software multi-lingualization.

We noted progress made in promoting education via the Internet. We agreed to leverage and exploit e-Learning to help meet ASEAN human capacity building policy goals. 

We thanked Thailand for hosting our fourth meeting in Bangkok and agreed to meet in Vietnam in 2005.