Message from the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to Turkey, the crossroads of many civilisations over past centuries as a geographical and cultural bridge between Asia and Europe as well as a "bridge of telecommunications" of recent times further to its historical function. With huge investments effected in recent years, Turkey has a unique position in the Region in terms of telecommunications, which is in perfect harmony with its geographical location.
As we are all well aware, the world is in the midst of a global information revolution driven by the convergence and proliferation of telecommunications and information technologies shaping the information society of the new millennium.
Information technologies play an ever-increasing role in the social, political and economic development of every country. While generating wealth and prosperity, IT may also deepen economic disparities and existing inequalities. Many developing and least developed countries are isolated from recent technological advances and do not have access to personal computers, the Internet and the opportunities these technologies provide.
One of the basic objectives of ITU is to foster development of telecommunications in developing countries and to extend the benefits of technologies to all the world's inhabitants. Extension and wider use of information technologies will close the digital divide between those who do and those who do not have access to the information world.
It is my sincere belief that the World Telecommunication Development Conference in Istanbul, a city which links the two continents, will be a significant milestone in the process of bridging the digital divide, thus contributing to the world's welfare and peace as well.
Expressing once again the great pleasure we have in hosting you all in such a city of uniqueness for the second time after RA-2000 and WRC-2000, I trust that the Conference will offer an excellent ground not only for taking up the issues on its agenda, but also for the exchange of views on various matters of common interest, thus achieving its foreseen purposes.
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Updated : 2002-03-11