We are going through a historic transformation in the way we live, learn, work, communicate and do business. We must do so not passively, but as makers of our own destiny. Technology has produced the information age. Now it is up to all of us to build an Information Society.
This Summit is unique. While most global conferences focus on global threats, WSIS will consider how best to use a new global asset.
We are all familiar with the extraordinary power of information and communications technologies. From trade to telemedicine, from education to environmental protection, we have in our hands, on our desktops and in the skies above, the ability to improve standards of living for millions upon millions of people.
Information and communication technologies are not a panacea or magic formula. But they can improve the lives of everyone on this planet. We have tools that can propel us toward the Millennium Development Goals; instruments with which to advance the cause of freedom and democracy; vehicles with which to propagate knowledge and mutual understanding. We have all of this potential. The challenge before this Summit is what to do with it.