Minneapolis, MN -- In a speech today before the United Nations'chief telecommunications organization, Vice President Gore challengeddelegates representing over 180 nations to use our newest technologiesto preserve our oldest values."Four years ago, I asked you to helped create a global informationsuperhighway," Vice President Gore said. "Today, I thank you for whatyou have done to bring about the most stunning revolution the world hasknown, and I challenge you to build on this unprecedented opportunity byputting these new global networks to work helping people."
"Today, we can build on our progress and use these powerful newforces of technology to advance our oldest and most cherished values:to extend knowledge and prosperity to the most isolated inner cities athome, and the most remote rural villages around the world; to bring 21stcentury learning and communication to places that don't even have phoneservice today; to share specialized medical technology that can save andimprove lives; to deepen the meaning of democracy and freedom in thisInternet age," he said.
The Vice President proposed five new challenges, which hecharacterized as a "Declaration of Interdependence."
First, he challenged the world community to improve access totechnology so everyone on the planet is within walking distance of basictelecommunication 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 languagebarriers by developing technologies with real-time digital translationso anyone on the planet can talk to anyone else. Such technologiescould reduce the cost of doing business and increase internationalcooperation.
Third, he challenged the world community to create a globalknowledge network of people working to improve the delivery ofeducation, health care, agricultural resources, and sustainabledevelopment, and to ensure public safety. The Vice President challengedthe education community to link together practitioners, academicexperts, and not-for-profit organizations working on our most pressingsocial and economic needs.
Fourth, he challenged the world community to ensure thatcommunications technology protects the free-flow of ideas andsupports democracy and free speech. We must continue to work toensure that the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) promotesthe free-flow of ideas and supports democracy around the globe.
Fifth, he challenged the world community to create networks thatallow every micro-entrepreneur in the world to advertise, market, andsell products directly to the world market. Such networks will enableentrepreneurs to keep more profits, provide information about worldprices, develop technology as a business tool, increase the diversityof the global marketplace, and create jobs.
Additionally, the Vice President called on the world community toaddress the Year 2000 computer problem, which, if not addressed, couldpose serious problems for commerce and communications all over theworld.
"We must ensure that the international system is ready for the year2000 -- because one weak link in the system will hurt us all," VicePresident Gore said. "Together, we must solve this problem."