GOVERNMENT OF TONGA

MEDIA RELEASE

10th March 2016

ITU Secretary General launch new government portal

Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General ITU with HRH Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala and the Prime Minister, Hon. Samuela 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General ITU with HRH Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala and the Prime Minister, Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva.

The Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Mr. Houlin Zhao launched the new government portal today at the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication (MEIDECC) Conference Room.

Mr. Zhao said Tonga has made great efforts to improve the capability of its ICT and Telecom.

“I applauded this good achievement and today I am very honoured to have the chance to launch this government portal which is another milestone to see how the Tongan people can profit from this new technology to increase their contacts with the government,” he said.

He stated that the new portal is a good example of how ITU’s Pacific region member uses ICT as great enablers to facilitate social and economic developments.

Mr. Zhao said that at ITU conferences, there are resolutions about assisting the union’s island member countries.

“At our conferences we always put some special resolutions to talk about assistance to our island countries. And this morning I discussed with Hon. Deputy Prime Minister the development and also the challenges in front of us. I think that through my visit, we’ll have some good first kind acknowledges to understand the challenges in front of us and in particular to address the issues such as emergency communication after natural disaster and problems happened.”

Zhao assured the government that ITU will do their best to cooperate with the Government of Tonga.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for MEIDECC, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni said he is thrilled with the new initiative because the new portal is a mechanism to support the government’s vision.

“I am indeed excited because of the potential of this portal as a stepping stone, has in supporting the government’s vision to communicate better and to serve the public more effectively,” he said.

He explained that the first government portal was established by the Ministry of Information and Communications in order to create a more connected and empowered society between the public and the government.

“The idea was that the existence of such ministry will promote a more accountable and transparent environment by providing information about government’s policies, programs and activities. With that aim a first government portal was designed.”

“The launch of this website fully recognised these developments and hopefully a step in the right direction. It is much more than just a simple embracement of ICT. It is more than an information portal.”

“This new portal embodies the government’s unwavering quest to ensure that its citizens can have an easy access to government information and empowering them to exercise their rights stated in our constitution.”

The focus of the new site is based on the government’s services where the public can keep track of information and events of different ministries and there is a possibility that the new database will attract foreign investors to further Tonga’s development.

Crown Prince Tupouto’a was the guest of honour and present in the special occasion were the Prime Minister, Ministers of the Crown, Australian High Commissioner, Japanese and Chinese Ambassadors to Tonga and representatives from communication operators.

Mr. Houlin Zhao launching the new Portal.

Mr. Houlin Zhao launching the new Portal.

ITU Secretary General during the Government Portal launching..

ITU Secretary General during the Government Portal launching.

From left to Right: Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, Deputy Prime Minister; Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General; HRH Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala and the Hon. Prime Minister, Samuela 'Akilisi Pohiva.

From left to Right: Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, Deputy Prime Minister; Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General; HRH Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala and the Hon. Prime Minister, Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva.

 

-Ends-

Issued from the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication

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