13/01/03 - The OECD and APEC are jointly organizing a Global Forum on the Knowledge Economy: Policy Frameworks for the Digital Economy on 15-16 January 2003 at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu, HI.
The Forum is intended to highlight the need for coherent policy to promote the future development of the global digital economy and information society, particularly over the coming decade. Participants will discuss the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in economic growth, the importance of security of information networks and the need for trust, inclusion and participation in the global information society of the future.
The closing statement of the Forum will be presented at a news conference at 5 p.m., Thursday 16 January. Speakers will include: Herwig Schogl, OECD Deputy Secretary-General; Richard C. Beaird, Senior Deputy Co-ordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, US Department of State; and Hugo Parr, Director General of the Ministry of Trade and Industry Norway and the Chairman of the OECD Information, Communication and Computer Committee. Other participants may be interviewed upon request.
This Forum follows a series of major international conferences organized by the OECD and APEC on the theme of electronic business, the global digital economy and information society. The U.S. Government, as host of the Forum, designated the City and County of Honolulu as Host City and the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR) as the organizing institution.
The Forum will be preceded on January 14 by two parallel events: the Public Voice Conference, organized by civil society groups; and the Business Forum on Electronic Commerce: ICTs: Untapped Resources and Opportunities for Continued Growth, organized by the business community.
On 17 January, there will be a special half-day meeting focussed on the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), whose first phase will take place in Geneva in December 2003. This Special Consultation Session on the WSIS will take stock of earlier world-scale projects to harness ICTs for development, such as the Digital Opportunity Task Force, the UN Information and Communications Technologies Task Force and efforts to mainstream ICTs into Official Development Assistance programs. The special session will then go on to consider the next steps in preparation of the Summit, prioritized targets for the Summit and the roles of key international organizations.
The Paris-based OECD has 30 member countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, while APEC regroups 21 economies around the Pacific Rim. The two organizations share many economic policy goals and this Forum marks a further important step in co-operation between the two bodies. In addition, representatives from more than 40 other countries and international organizations and from business and civil society have been invited to take part.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact Misha Pinkhasov (Tel.  1 45 24 81 20) or John Dryden (Tel.  1 45 24 93 73) at the OECD in Paris or Linda Ome at PICHTR in Honolulu (Tel.: +1.808.591 6763, Fax: +1.808.6491).