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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid