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UNESCO Expert To Attend NZ Workshop

26 May 2004

New Zealand Workshop on the World Summit on the Information Society to be attended by UNESCO expert

Representatives from around New Zealand will meet for a workshop on the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) this week, joined by Axel Plathe, an international expert on the social issues associated with the information society.

Axel Plathe, who is a Senior Programme Specialist at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, will address the workshop on WSIS action plans and planning for the next phase being held in Tunisia in Africa in 2005.

The WSIS is a United Nations (UN) initiative which seeks to marshal global consensus and commitment to harness the potential of knowledge and information and communication technologies for development. The WSIS is being held in two phases internationally.

Hon David Cunliffe Associate Minister of Information Technology led the New Zealand delegation of representatives from government, NGOs and civil society who attended the first phase of WSIS which took place in Geneva, Switzerland in December 2003. The broad range of themes concerning the Information Society were addressed, and a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action were adopted.

The New Zealand workshop, being held this Friday May 28, will include a national update on progress since the Geneva meeting and planning for New Zealand’s contribution to the second phase, taking place in Tunisia in November 2005. The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is funding this preparatory workshop, being held at the National Library in Wellington and organised by 2020 Communications Trust.

Axel Plathe is available for interview.

ENDS

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