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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs