Minneapolis, MN -- In a speech today before the United Nations'
chief telecommunications organization, Vice President Gore challenged
delegates representing over 180 nations to use our newest technologies
to preserve our oldest values.
"Four years ago, I asked you to helped create a global information
superhighway," Vice President Gore said. "Today, I thank you for what
you have done to bring about the most stunning revolution the world has
known, and I challenge you to build on this unprecedented opportunity by
putting these new global networks to work helping people."
"Today, we can build on our progress and use these powerful new
forces of technology to advance our oldest and most cherished values:
to extend knowledge and prosperity to the most isolated inner cities at
home, and the most remote rural villages around the world; to bring 21st
century learning and communication to places that don't even have phone
service today; to share specialized medical technology that can save and
improve lives; to deepen the meaning of democracy and freedom in this
Internet age," he said.
The Vice President proposed five new challenges, which he
characterized as a "Declaration of Interdependence."
First, he challenged the world community to improve access to
technology so everyone on the planet is within walking distance of basic
telecommunication services by the year 2005. For all our progress, 65%
of the world's households still have no phone service.
Second, he challenged the world community to bridge language
barriers by developing technologies with real-time digital translation
so anyone on the planet can talk to anyone else. Such technologies
could reduce the cost of doing business and increase international
Third, he challenged the world community to create a global
knowledge network of people working to improve the delivery of
education, health care, agricultural resources, and sustainable
development, and to ensure public safety. The Vice President challenged
the education community to link together practitioners, academic
experts, and not-for-profit organizations working on our most pressing
social and economic needs.
Fourth, he challenged the world community to ensure that
communications technology protects the free-flow of ideas and
supports democracy and free speech. We must continue to work to
ensure that the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) promotes
the free-flow of ideas and supports democracy around the globe.
Fifth, he challenged the world community to create networks that
allow every micro-entrepreneur in the world to advertise, market, and
sell products directly to the world market. Such networks will enable
entrepreneurs to keep more profits, provide information about world
prices, develop technology as a business tool, increase the diversity
of the global marketplace, and create jobs.
Additionally, the Vice President called on the world community to
address the Year 2000 computer problem, which, if not addressed, could
pose serious problems for commerce and communications all over the
"We must ensure that the international system is ready for the year
2000 -- because one weak link in the system will hurt us all," Vice
President Gore said. "Together, we must solve this problem."