Saturday, November 27, 2004

UN alliance aims to promote IT in poor countries - UN alliance aims to promote IT in poor countries:

"Participants at a United Nations (U.N.) meeting in Berlin this week proposed creating a global alliance that would spur investment in communications technology in the world's poorest countries as a follow-up to next year's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

"At the meeting, representatives from the public and private sectors and other nongovernmental organizations agreed to submit a proposal for the new alliance to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in the hope of having the initiative adopted by delegates at the WSIS gathering in Tunis, Tunisia, in November 2005, according to Sarbuland Khan, a director with the U.N. ICT Task Force."

The proposal to set up a new international mechanism, drawing financing primarily from the rich countries, to finance ICT development in poor nations was one of the most controversial at the first meeting of WSIS. It seems likely to be equally controversial at the second meeting next year. John Blau's IDG News Service article describes a meeting held in Germany to advance that idea. WSIS is of course, cosponsored by UNESCO.

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