WEF to Deliver Digital Divide Message to G8

TOKYO (07/17/2000) - On the eve of the G-8 Kyushu/Okinawa Summit, members of the World Economic Forum's Task Force on the Global Digital Divide on Wednesday will deliver to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori the task force's recommendations on public and private-sector initiatives to bridge the digital divide.

Mori asked the World Economic Forum to come up with the proposals so they may be added to the agenda of the G-8 Summit, which will begin Friday in Okinawa, Japan. The recommendations will be made public on Wednesday at the end of a day-long meeting in Tokyo between World Economic Forum members and business leaders.

Following the public presentation of the proposals, the World Economic Forum will hold a private meeting with Mori and European Commission President Romano Prodi.

The digital divide is expected to be among the top issues discussed at the meeting, as leaders of the world's seven largest industrialized nations plus Russia work toward the signing of the "Okinawa Charter" -- a call to arms to the world's major nations to help bridge the divide and spread technology to poorer nations.

Klaus Schwab, founder and president, and Claude Smadja, managing director of the World Economic Forum will present the project. With them will be John Gage, chief researcher and director at Sun Microsystems Inc., Nobuyuki Idei, chairman of Sony Corporation, Richard Li, chairman and chief executive of Hong Kong's Pacific Century Group; Taizo Nishimuro, chairman of Toshiba Corp. and Vernon J.

Ellis, international chairman of Andersen Consulting.