More than 2000 people gathered in Yokohama, Japan last week to attend the Inet2000 Internet summit, which focused on key challenges posed by the technology and its impact on commerce, finance, education, technologies and on societies as a whole. A special session also focused on post-conflict countries, and the role that the Internet can play in the rebuilding process. At the event, UNDP organized the "Developing Countries Network Symposium" through its Asia Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP). Starting with the subject of e-commerce and the need for countries to modernize their financial institutions, the one-day session took an in-depth look at the education applications of e-commerce and on new opportunities and problems associated with IT.
Participants also focused on the critical issue of bringing Internet access and communications technologies to developing countries. "While everyone is talking about the digital divide," said Gabriel Accascina, APDIP coordinator, "UNDP is building digital bridges, to assist developing countries in obtaining their fair share from globalization, and to benefit from the Internet revolution as much as possible."