UN conference adopts texts promoting information society for Western Asia

6 February 2003

Delegates from Arab countries meeting on the final day of a United Nations conference in Beirut adopted a declaration today making recommendations on policies and initiatives that would spur the growth of information technologies in Western Asia.

The Declaration of Principles and the "Beirut Initiative," adopted at today's conclusion of the Western Asia Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), will be submitted to an Arab team that is due to meet at the UN Economic and Social Commission for the region (ESCWA) on 7 and 8 February in order to prepare for a meeting of telecommunications ministers in Cairo.

Among their highlights, the texts call for the formulation of a practical Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy through the removal of socio-economic barriers between privileged and unprivileged segments of society; through narrowing the ICT divide; and ensuring homogeneous availability of ICT for all.

Other priorities included the pursuit of "e-government," "e-business" and intra-regional trade through electronic networks, "e-learning," "e-education" and improving electronic content in the Arabic language.

 

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