The Current State and Perspective of the Digital Opportunity Taskforce

[ Cf : The Digital Opportunity Taskforce (DOT Force) was established based on the Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society , which was adopted at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, with a view to integrating G8 efforts on bridging digital divide into a broader international approach. See the reference below for the information on the members and activities of the DOT Force. ]

June 1, 2001
IT Cooperation Division, Economic Affairs Bureau

In mid May, DOT Force submitted a report which includes Proposed Genoa Plan of Action to the personal representatives of G8 Leaders (the Sherpas). The structures of the report are as follows. Future activities of the DOT Force have not been decided yet.

Forward :

Part One - The Challenge : Digital Opportunities for All

  • Digital Opportunities
  • Current Situation of Digital Divide--The international Development Goals and Utilization of ICT (Achieve Development (Poverty Reduction) through ICT)
  • Urgent needs to bridge the Digital Divide

Part Two : Meeting the Challenge through Concrete and Creative Action

  • holistic approaches with multi-stakeholder involvement
  • leveraging linkages and partnerships into the global economy
  • national ICT strategies which also permit bottom-up approaches
  • taking advantage of new and emerging technologies
  • making the best of the tools and experiences available

Part Three - The way forward : Proposed Genoa Plan of Action

  1. Help Establish and Support Developing Country & Emerging Economy National eStrategies
  2. Improve Connectivity, Increase Access and Lower Costs
  3. Enhance Human Capacity Development, Knowledge Creation and Sharing
  4. Foster Enterprise and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Economic Development
  5. Establish and Support Universal Participation in Addressing New International Policy and Technical Issues raised by the Internet and ICT
  6. Establish and Support Dedicated Initiatives for the ICT Inclusion of the Least Developed Countries
  7. Promote ICT for Health Care and in Support Against HIV/AIDS and Other Infectious and Communicable Diseases
  8. National and International Effort to Support Local Content and Applications Creation
  9. Prioritize ICT in G8 and Other Development Assistance Policies and Programmes and Enhance Coordination of Multilateral Initiatives

( Reference : Summary of the DOT Force Activities )

1. Mandates

DOT Force was mandated to facilitate discussions and policy dialogue among stakeholders, to raise global public awareness of the challenges and opportunities, to examine inputs from the private sector and other interested groups and to report its findings and activities to personal representatives of the G8 Leaders (Sherpas).

2. Members

G8 : representatives from governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations (NPOs) of G8 countries, the European Union (Japanese members are Mr. Nogami, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nishimuro, Chairman of Toshiba, Mr. Kumon, Director, Center for Global Communications (Glocom), International University of Japan)

Developing Countries : Republic of Bolivia, Federal Republic of Brazil, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of India, Republic of Indonesia, Republic of Senegal, Republic of South Africa and United Republic of Tanzania

Business Organizations : World Economic Forum (WEF), Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe), and Global Information Infrastructure Commission (GIIC)

International Organizations : United Nations Development Program (UNDP), World Bank, Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

3. Meetings

(1) First Meeting : November 27 and 28, 2000 at Tokyo

Discussions centered on (a) stocktaking of the current situation of the international digital divide, and (2) the future work schedule of the DOT Force. In relation to the latter, it was agreed that with the aim of producing a report by the end of May 2001, two more meetings would be held.

(2) Second Meeting : March 1 and 2, 2001 at Capetown, Republic of South Africa

Discussions centered on (a) priority issues to be taken, and (b) recommendations to the Plan of Actions. Regarding the priority issues, members seemed to share a certain level of understanding, but most of the time was spent for free discussions and they were ultimately unable to come to any sort of firm agreement. As for the recommendations, there was no consensus on the composition or specific details of the recommendations, and the members recognized the need to work actively towards the adoption of the final report.

(3) Third Meeting : April 23 and 24, 2001 at Sienna, Italy

Discussions centered on (a) Proposed Genoa Plan of Actions, and (b) Future Activities of the DOT Force. The Proposed Genoa Plan of Actions were discussed in detail and mostly agreed based on the draft prepared by the Italian Presidency. Regarding the latter, no conclusions was reached.

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