Third Meeting of the Digital Opportunity Taskforce (DOT Force)
(23 and 24 April, Venue: Siena, Italy)

24 April 2001

1. Holding of the Meeting and Participants

The Third Meeting of the Digital Opportunity Taskforce (DOT Force) was held on 23 and 24 April 2001 in Siena, Italy (Chair: Italy). The DOT Force was established based on the Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society, which was adopted at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit last year. The DOT Force will examine concrete steps to bridge the international digital divide and prepare a report for the next G8 Summit to be held in Genoa, Italy, in 2001. Participants of the meeting were representatives from the governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations (NPOs) of the G8 (attendants from the Government of Japan included Kaoru Ishikawa, Deputy Director-General for the Economic Affairs Bureau, and others); the European Union (EU); developing countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania (representatives from China were absent)); international organizations and other business organizations (World Bank, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) (World Bank and UNDP are co-Secretariat), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Economic Forum (WEF), Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe), and Global Information Infrastructure Commission (GIIC)).

2. Outline of the Meeting

(1) Report (Action Plan)

The Action Plan was the main issue of discussion in the meeting. Necessary joint action was discussed and mostly agreed in such fields as support establishment of e-strategies in developing countries, the formation of a network of regulatory and policy expertise, the expansion of access, the cultivation of human resources, the utilization of private-sector capabilities, the fostering of local contents and the active use of information and communications technology (ICT) in combating infectious diseases.

Follow-up to the Action Plan was also discussed, but no conclusion was reached.

(2) Dot Force Report (Chapters 1-3)

Due to time constraints, the final draft of the Dot Force Report will be discussed over the Internet.

(3) Future of the Dot Force

Government members pointed out that the future of the Dot Force was something that would be left to the judgment of the Sherpas, while many developing countries and non-profit organizations expressed that the momentum should be maintained and the activities of the DOT Force continued.

3. Structure of the Report

(1) Report

Preface: Background of the DOT Force
Part One: The challenge: digital opportunities for all
Part Two: Responding to the challenge through creative action
Part Three: The way forward: priority areas for action

  1. Policy, regulatory and network readiness
  2. Connectivity and access
  3. Human capital development, knowledge-creation and sharing
  4. Content and applications development

(2) Action Plan (to be incorporated into the Report as Chapter 4)

  1. Support Developing Countries and Emerging Economy National eStrategies
  2. Prioritizing ICTs in G8 and Other Development Assistance Policies and Programs, and Enhancing Coordination of Multilateral Initiatives
  3. Improving Connectivity, Increasing Access and Lowering Costs via Joint Stakeholder Initiatives
  4. Enhancing Human Capacity Development, Knowledge Creation and Sharing
  5. Foster Enterprise and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Economic Development, including Poverty Alleviation
  6. Establish and Support Universal Participation in New International Policy and Technical Issues raised by ICTs
  7. Establish and Support Dedicated Initiatives for the ICT Inclusion of the Least Developed Countries
  8. ICT for Health Care and in Support Against HIV/AIDS and Other Infectious and Communicable Diseases
  9. National and International Efforts to Support Local Content and Applications Creation

4. Future Plans

The report will be finalized in due course and will be submitted to the Sherpas in mid-May.

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