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For Immediate Release
Martin Burack
(703) 648-9888
Alan Shear
+1 (703) 648-9888
Stackig Public Relations

INET 97, World's Premier Internet Conference Meeting in Malaysia Will Hold a Live Video Panel To Discuss Internet Development Issues with the Global Knowledge Conference Meeting in Canada

Washington, D.C. -- June 18, 1997 -- The Internet Society (ISOC) today announced it is sponsoring a unique live video panel discussion between attendees of the Global Knowledge 97 Conference, co-sponsored by the World Bank and the Government of Canada in Toronto, Canada, and Internet experts attending ISOC's annual conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday, June 24. This video panel marks the first time that the World Bank has participated in a dialogue regarding Internet development strategies, the issues of equity, and how network access to knowledge and expertise helps the development process with technical and educational experts from the Internet Society.

The video panel discussion is part of INET 97, the premier global Internet conference to be held June 24 to 27, 1997 at the Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. INET 97 is the crossroads at which the world's leaders and pioneers of cyberspace meet, share information, address significant issues, and shape the future of the Internet. INET 97, the seventh annual international conference, will include presentations of more than 100 papers and case histories, plenary sessions and panels on key Internet issues, and a wide range of seminars. More than 2,000 information technology professionals, business executives, educators and government officials from around the world are expected to attend.

ISOC is the leading organization for the technical, commercial and policy development of the Internet. It is a non-profit, non-governmental group that provides leadership in the management of the many issues and concerns which the new applications of the Internet are generating. ISOC brings diverse interest groups together to hammer out reasonable solutions that generate progress and growth for the Internet. Membership includes more than 100 key Internet-oriented organizations and about 7,000 individuals from 150 countries.

"For the developing countries, the Internet is seen as a mechanism to make major steps toward development by providing access to global knowledge and expertise, to developed country markets and to adequate communications facilities," stated Dr. George Sadowsky, vice president for education at the Internet Society and director, Academic Computing Facility, New York University. "Yet in the developed countries there are fears that the Internet is driving a wedge between those who have the capital and the knowledge to exploit it and those who do not. Who benefits and who doesn't when the Internet is introduced into a country? Is the Internet neutral with respect to the haves and have nots? These are the kind of tough questions that the panelists in Kuala Lumpur and Toronto will address and seek practical solutions for eventual implementation around the world."

Moderating the panel discussion for the Internet Society will be Dr. Stephen Browne from the United Nations Development Programme. Invited panelists in Malaysia include Professor Chandra Muzaffar, University of Malaya and Just World Trust; Vint Cerf, Senior Vice President, MCI Telecommunications and Past President, Internet Society; and Florencio Utreras, REUNA, Santiago de Chile. Invited World Bank panelists include Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Commonwealth/ Learning, moderator; Hans D'Orville, UNDP; Vivienne Wee, Singapore; and Marc Dupuis, Teledesic.

"The Internet Society recognizes the vital importance of the efforts of the World Bank, one of the sponsors of Global Knowledge 97, which is currently involved in intense policy dialogues with national governments, private telecommunications companies, national public telecommunications entities, public enterprise restructuring operations, and structural adjustment operations regarding the need to accelerate economic and social development by taking advantage of the information revolution," said Donald M. Heath, President and CEO of the Internet Society. "Over the years, the Internet Society has helped build the global recognition that telecommunications and access to information are key determinants of international competitiveness. Today, the Internet Society, in collaboration with the World Bank are acting as catalyst to bring together the global financier of Internet development projects with the technical experts and policy advocates of global Internet development."

"We are very pleased to be coordinating with the Internet Society and the INET 97 conference," stated Mr. Joseph Ingram, program director of the Economic Development Institute." Offering the attendees of the Global Knowledge Conference the opportunity to reexamine the assumptions about the empowering potential of the Internet, as well as to explore ways and means of bringing about this empowerment with the experts assembled in Kuala Lumpur at INET 97, will prove to be a valuable exchange."

The panel will seek out specific prescriptions of what ought to be done in situations where disenfranchisement might occur. The attending members of the Internet Society can help in seeking solutions at the national, regional and global level along with the involvement of local as well as international agencies.

The Internet Society, in keeping with its commitment to assist countries that are either not yet connected to the Internet or are in the process of developing and enhancing their initial national Internet, is offering at INET 97 a Workshop on Network Technology for Countries in the Early Stages of Internet Networking from June 15-22 at the Permata Training Center, the training center of Petronas, the national oil company of Malaysia, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This intensive program emphasizes practical Internet training to set up, operate, maintain and manage Internet networks in their home nations.

The Internet Society is sponsoring an in-depth day-long African Networking Symposium to be held on Tuesday, June 24, 1997. The African Symposium will present information on current and emerging technical and policy issues confronting African educators, technologists and policy-makers. The Symposium will focus on the results of several international connectivity projects and on pressing Internet-related issues facing African nations today. The African Networking Symposium keynote speech will be delivered by the Honorable Comdr. P. M. G. Griffiths, Minister of Communication for the Government of Ghana.

Another INET 97 activity devoted to enhancing the development of the Internet as an educational medium is the K-12 Networking Workshop on June 24, 1997. This Workshop will focus on a broad range of technical and non-technical issues surrounding deployment and use of the Internet in schools around the world. The world class educators and technologists serving on the workshop panel will address a variety of pertinent education issues such as school reform, practical strategies for using the Internet to support professional development for teachers and how the Internet impacts the school's curriculum. Additionally, at INET 97 the Internet Society has assembled internationally recognized Internet experts to lead six distinctive day-long tutorials on June 22 and 23, 1997 to enhance attendees' professional development. These pragmatic, low cost and comprehensive tutorials will present in-depth, cutting-edge information on current and emerging technologies.

Leaders from government, the private sector and non-governmental organizations will gather in Toronto, Canada, June 22-25, 1997, for a major international conference to explore the role of knowledge, information, and technology in economic and social development. Global Knowledge 97 co-sponsored by the World Bank and the Government of Canada, will focus on turning the information revolution into a force for economic growth and social cohesion in the next century. Global Knowledge 97, and the activities that precede and follow it, will launch a global learning process about the state of knowledge and its use for development. Initiated in response to the challenges posed by the information age, the conference will present a series of participatory panels, workshops, video conferences, and demonstrations to showcase how knowledge, and access to it, can be used to advance economic and social progress across a wide variety of sectors. A Global Knowledge 97 Website, Internet conferences and discussion groups, on-site computer networks, "cyber cafes" and the INET'97 video panel discussion will be used to expand participation in the conference beyond its physical activities in Toronto to interested participants around the globe.

Additional INET 97 conference information can be obtained by contacting the Internet Society at 703-648-9888;; e-mail, or by writing to 12020 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA., USA. 20191-3429.

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