President Mohamed Nasheed has said information and communication technologies are paramount in ensuring development. He made this statement while speaking at the Telecommunication Ministerial Forum for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal (ABBMN) organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The Forum is being held in Paradise Island Resort from 3 – 5 August 2010.

Underscoring that telecommunications and information technology sector was vital for future development, President said the government was working to introduce tele-medicine to islands that do not have specialist medical practitioners.

He further added that ensuring good internet connections to all islands was an important part of the country’s development.

Speaking in this regard, the President said the use of communication technology is vital for the development and progress of remote islands, allowing services such as health, education and e-commerce to flourish.

The Ministerial Forum will focus on the digital inclusion of ABBMN countries in the context of World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) connectivity targets and UN Millennium Development Goals.