3rd ADGMIN presses for Asean inclusive, human-centric, sustainable digital future
MANILA, Philippines — The recently concluded 3rd Asean Digital Ministers Meeting (ADGMIN), Asean Digital Senior Officials Meeting (ADGSOM), and related meetings held in Boracay, from February 6-10, 2023, sets the ADGMIN’s focus on building an inclusive, human-centric, and sustainable digital future for Asean and its Member States.
The 3rd ADGMIN was held in Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines. Philippine Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John E. Uy, chaired the meeting with Vice-Chair, Dr. Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Health of Singapore.
This year, the Asean digital leaders agreed to ensure a sustainable digital transformation that is people-centered, safe, secure, relevant to the needs of end users and stakeholders, aimed at increasing the quality and use of e-government services and solutions that can connect businesses, and supportive of innovation for new business models to facilitate cross-border trade and affordable access.
This commitment and all its supporting details were enshrined in the Boracay Digital Declaration 2023. The Declaration is the culmination of the 5-day event, solidifying agreements among the digital ministers, senior officials, and delegates from the ten Asean member states.
Secretary Uy, as chair, pushes the prioritization of four areas. Particularly, the chair aims to focus on (1) developing a safe cyberspace; (2) promoting citizen-centric governance; (3) achieving digital inclusion; and (4) building and nurturing an innovation-driven economy.
The Meeting also gave way to discussions of previous and ongoing initiatives of the ADGMIN and the ADGSOM.
“The 2022 Work Cycle Projects have thrusts on topics such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) Governance and Ethics; Contractual Clauses for International Data Transfers; the Quality of Experience (QoE) Framework; the Standard to Exchange Data and Information Related to Disaster; Green Digital Initiatives; Digital Infrastructure Development; Digital Service Development; the Technical and Regulatory Framework for Broadband Networks; Digital Startups; an Asean Computer Emergency Response Team (Asean CERT); and Cybersecurity Assessment,” Secretary Uy said.
The Meeting also discussed the progress made in the second year of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM 2025), which aims to transform Asean into a leading digital community and economic bloc, and the outcome of the on-going implementation of the Asean Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and its implementation plan in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The body also acknowledged the continuous plans and programs of Working Group of Digital Data Governance (WG-DDG) on capacity development to promote awareness and adoption of the Model Contractual Clauses (MCCs) to help Member States understand data management and cross-border data flows to boost businesses’ ability to seize opportunities in the digital economy.
It also welcomed the implementation of enhanced cybersecurity measures consistent with the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy 2021-2025 and the Asean Regional CERT Operational Framework, which will help in the implementation of the Asean Regional CERT and guide CERT-related capacity building efforts through regional cybersecurity capacity building programs conducted by the Asean-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (ASCCE) and Asean – Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC).
Other notable reports and agreements include the development of an Asean Guide on AI Governance and Ethics in 2023, the on-going implementation of the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap, which is an Asean digital transformation agenda to accelerate economic recovery after the pandemic and digital economy integration of Member States. The meetings also discussed the progress of developing the 5G ecosystem in the region.
The activities also included meetings with dialogue partners of the ADGMIN. Dialogue partners discussed commitments to enhance digital cooperation with Asean to help the region improve its cybersecurity posture and innovation and e-commerce landscape through capacity building and exchange of knowledge and best practices. For this year, Asean hosted China, the European Union, India, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States of America (USA) as dialogue partners.
Secretary Uy expressed his gratitude to all Member States and dialogue partners for helping the Philippines host a productive series of meetings. He also expressed appreciation for everyone’s efforts as they are aligned with the vision of the Philippine chairmanship.
“Synergy towards a sustainable digital future—under this theme, the ADGMIN has worked, discussed, and agreed on terms and cooperation on initiatives that would ensure development of a digital landscape for the Southeast Asian region that is focused on human needs, cognizant of changing threats, and sensitive to existing digital divide,” Uy said.
Uy also conveyed confidence in the event being instrumental in meeting Asean’s goals.
“To achieve synergy is to achieve a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This is aligned with the principle of the Asean—to create a community that multiplies the potential of its members to be a stronger and a more prosperous region,” Uy said.
The ADGMIN and ADGSOM are annual meetings that gather digital leaders and key stakeholders in the Southeast Asian Region to discuss digital development and cooperation and explore ways to utilize technology to drive digital and economic growth to improve the lives of Asean citizens.