The Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu of Tonga, to the position of High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States on 12 April 2017. Ms. ‘Utoikamanu was the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism of Tonga from January 2017. Ms. ‘Utoikamanu brings with her a wealth of national, regional and international experience at various senior leadership levels, with a strategic perspective for the mandate of the UN-OHRLLS and on building consensus among key stakeholders. She was previously Acting Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific (2015), Deputy Pro-Chancellor and Deputy Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific (2009-2016), Deputy Director-General and Director of Education, Training and Human Development of the Secretariat of Pacific Community (2009-2015), Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the Government of Tonga to the United Nations, United States of America, Cuba and Venezuela and High Commissioner to Canada (2005-2009), and Secretary for Foreign Affairs and European Commission’s National Authorizing Officer for Tonga (2002-2005).
When COVID shut the world in 2020, fewer than one-in-five people in the Least Developed Countries had sufficient broadband for online learning, e-business, e-health or remote working. Universal broadband connectivity is not a luxury. It is a precondition of attaining sustainable development. We need to ensure everybody’s inclusion and participation in our digitally connected world.