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PI/1304
13 November 2000

MILLENNIUM UN WORLD TELEVISION FORUM 2000 TO FOCUS ON GLOBAL MEDIA CONVERGENCE AND DIGITAL DIVIDE

13 November 2000


Press Release
PI/1304


MILLENNIUM UN WORLD TELEVISION FORUM 2000 TO FOCUS ON GLOBAL MEDIA CONVERGENCE AND DIGITAL DIVIDE

20001113

1,000 Leading International Figures to Discuss Convergence Revolution and Ways to Bridge ‘Digital Divide’

The convergence between television, digital technology and the Internet will be the focus of the fifth United Nations World Television Forum, to be held at United Nations Headquarters on 16-17 November. The Forum, entitled “TV@Globe//adding values in the digital era”, will bring together 1,000 industry leaders and experts from every part of the world for a thorough examination of the challenges facing the television industry in the digital age -– especially its role in bridging the “digital divide”.

“The convergence of information technology, the Internet and e-commerce media is presenting ours and future generations with unlimited communicational possibilities, resulting in a more connected and better informed world,” states Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “This globalization offers lots of advantages, but we need to find a way of ensuring that we deal with the negative aspects of globalization and that the entire population benefits from this phenomenon.”

The Forum will challenge the television industry to use its unique reach and influence to help bridge the digital divide. Among the other topics to be covered at the Forum are: innovative experiments emerging from the news, education and sports programme genres; television’s role in social advocacy; radio’s embrace of digital technology; and a discussion among new media entrepreneurs on the future of interactive television. The Forum will result in a comprehensive report featuring recommendations related to both convergence and bridging the digital divide.

The impressive roster of speakers at the Forum includes: Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Harri Holkeri, President, United Nations General Assembly; Makarim Wibisono, President, United Nations Economic and Social Council; Greg Dyke, Director-General, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); Jon DeVaan, Senior Vice President, TV Division, Microsoft Corporation; Fernando Espuelas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, StarMedia Network; Roberto Zaccaria, Chairman, Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI); Fedele Confalonieri, Chairman, Mediaset Group; Albert Scharf, President, European Broadcasting Union; Katsuji Ebisawa, President, Nippon Hosa Kyokai (NHK); Giuliano Berretta, Director General, European Telecommunications Satellite Organization (EUTELSAT); and Lynn Forester, Co-Chairman, FirstMark Communications Europe S.A.

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For more information about the United Nations World Television Forum 2000, log onto the web site at . The site features online discussions, full agenda with topics and speakers’ biographies, and a section dedicated to members of the press.

About the United Nations World Television Forum

The United Nations World Television Forum is an annual invitational event held at United Nations Headquarters designed for senior representatives of traditional and new media, academia, civil society and governments from around the world. The Forum’s objective is to engage the broadest range of stakeholders to address the fundamental challenges facing television in the digital age.

Contact

For further information, contact Roberto Ramos (tel: 212-683-3781; e-mail: rramos@ruidogroup.com) or Jon Herbertsson (tel: 212-963-7949; e-mail: herbertsson@un.org).

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For information media. Not an official record.