News / Europe

France Hosts Internet Forum Before G8 Summit

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures, during a e-G8 conference, gathering Internet and information technologies leaders and experts, in Paris, May 24, 2011.
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures, during a e-G8 conference, gathering Internet and information technologies leaders and experts, in Paris, May 24, 2011.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has hailed the Internet in transforming the world and driving recent Arab protests.  Sarkozy launched an Internet forum before a G8 summit later this week.

President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke to an audience of key movers and shakers in the digital universe, gathered in Paris for the first so-called "E-G8" forum.  Conceived by the French president, the two-day meeting will debate the Internet's role in transforming politics, the economy and social services, and whether or not it should be regulated.

Sarkozy described the Internet as a revolution that has changed many things, including driving the ongoing protests in the Arab world.

Sarkozy said the revolutions this year in Tunisia and Egypt took many by surprise, and helped changed foreign policy.  He said they influenced France's decision to intervene in Ivory Coast and in Libya.

While praising the Internet's role in empowering people and economies, the French leader also talked about the importance of responsibility on matters like piracy and child pornography.  Whether to regulate the Internet is a matter of hot debate, with countries like China and North Korea censoring the net and others like France pushing for copyrights and other regulations.

The 1,500 delegates attending the Paris forum include the heads of Google, E-Bay and social media site Facebook.  French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde noted the World Wide Web is not only boosting developed economies, but also developing ones, by helping transfer remittances.

"When you look at the amount and volume of remittances to Africa, it is bigger than the volume of aid, development money that is paid to African agencies, governments and companies," said Lagarde.  "So it is a huge amount."

Indian telecommunications heavyweight Sunil Bharti Mittal talked about the role of mobile phones in delivering health care in poorer nations.

"M-health, rather than e-health, holds a great promise for countries like India," noted Mittal.  "The rural health services are in an absolutely broken condition today.  There are many, many things that can now be done on mobile phones or the benefit of large masses of the population."

Later this week, leaders of the Internet forum are expected to meet with heads of state at the G8 summit in the French city of Deauville, in what Sarkozy hopes will launch an ongoing dialogue between the two.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More