Vol. 4 Num 77 Tue. August 12, 2003  

Khaleda to attend WSIS in Geneva

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia will attend the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) scheduled to be held in Geneva in December.

The summit aims at eliminating digital division and creating a common platform for the growth of ICT in developing countries.

"The prime minister decided to attend the summit in response to a personal invitation from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan," said Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Syed Marghub Murshed at a press briefing yesterday.

Heads of the states and governments of about 50 countries including high powered delegation from 130 countries will participate in the summit, said Karar Mahmudul Hassan, secretary of the ministry of science and information and communication technology.

Describing the importance of the summit, Hassan said it will try to create a link between the developed and developing countries in the field of ICT.

"We will try to foster a greater growth in ICT, especially in software through this summit," he said adding that participants from the civil society and NGOs are also expected to play a pivotal role at the summit.

He said Bangladesh is preparing a country strategy paper to present at the summit.

A committee with Science and Information and Communication Technology Minister Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, and Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan as co-chairmen, has been formed to prepare the country paper. The committee also includes the BTRC chairman and ICT secretary, he added.

Describing the aim of the WSIS, the BTRC chairman said the summit would work for eliminating the differences between the developed and the developing countries in the field of ICT.

Murshed, who is also the chairman of Bangladesh Working Group on WSIS, said the role of civil society including non-government organisations has been recognised along side the government in the preparatory process for the WSIS which will showcase the Rio Earth Summit and Beijing World Women Conference under the auspices of the UN.

Reza Selim, member secretary of Bangladesh Working Group on WSIS, briefed on the country's position in the upcoming summit and its preparedness.

Later, the BTRC chairman and ICT secretary inaugurated the working group secretariat at the BTRC premises.

BTRC Commissioners NH Chowdhury, Khandaker Mohammad Abu Bakar, Rezaul Haque were present on the occasion.