Pan European ministerial conference for preparation of the WSIS

The Pan European Ministerial Conference for preparation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) will be held from 7 to 9 November, in Bucharest, Romania.

The debate is going to focus on e-government, e-inclusion, e-learning and quality of life in the Information Society.

The meeting is going to gather 1500 participants from 55 countries, namely the European States, the United States of America, Canada and Israel.

The Portuguese delegation shall include the ambassador of Portugal in Bucharest and the director of the Mission Unit on the Information Society and the manager of the Information Society Operational Plan, as well representatives of, the Ministry of Education the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Economy and ANACOM.

WSIS, an initiative of the United Nations General Assembly, is sponsored by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and is held in two meetings, in 2003 in Geneva and in 2005 in Tunes, Tunisia.

Opening session

The conference was opened by the Romanian President of the Republic, who mentioned the "Lisbon Strategy" as a basis of the community policy for this matter, that Romania embraces.

The opening session was participated also by the ITU Secretary-General, who also presides the organizing committee of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Yoshio Utsumi, the representative of the Economic Committee for Europe from UN, the organizer of this regional conference, Paolo Garoma, and the Chairman of the WSIS preparatory process, Adama Samassekou.

There were also speeches of representatives from other UN bodies, Rita Hayes (WIPO - World Intellectual Property Organization) and Mark Brown (UNPD - United Nations Programme for Development) as well as of a representative from the academic world, Professor Harvey Newman, from the Technology University of California, and another one from the private sector, Robert Rogers, from the Coordination Committee of the Corporate Speakers, and also the Danish ambassador, Helge Sander, on behalf of the European Union (EU).

The EU representative underlined the success attained by the community programmes in force, namely e-Europe 2002 and e-Europe+, which enlarges the first of the candidate countries, such as Romania, underling also the importance of the specific research programme for this area, IST - Information Society Technologies, in force until 2006.

After the opening ceremony, the conference bureau was elected with the Romanian Minister for Information and Communication Technologies, Dan Nica, being elected ex-oficio president, and his counterparts Lucio Stanca (Italy), Jumaliev Kubanychbek (Kyrgyz Republic), Bozidar Milovic (Yugoslavia) and Leonid Reiman (Russia) deputy-chairmen. The Romanians, Ambassador Anda Filip and Petru Dumitriu, were also elected to be secretary-general and conference speaker, respectively, being joined by a Swiss representative, as host country of the WSIS first phase, which will be held in Geneva in 2003 and a representative of the UN Economic Committee for Europe. This bureau is also composed of a representative from the private sector and another one from the civil society.

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