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The President of the Republic in Geneva attended the opening of the WSIS

President Arnold Rüütel today in Geneva attended the opening of the World Summit on the Information Society organized by the United Nations and the International Telecommunication Union. The President of the Republic attended the official lunch hosted by Kofi Annan and was present at the opening ceremony of the summit.

The President of the Republic in the framework of these events had several short meetings. During a conversation with the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, they talked about Estonia's thus-far and future activities in the United Nation's global cooperation and in reforming this world organisation.

His meeting with UN Deputy Secretary-General Sergei Ordzhonikidze who leads the UN work in Geneva addressed the fate of the diplomatic archives of the Republic of Estonia concerning the pre-World War II period and Estonia's chances to recover them. At a meeting with French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the counterparts talked about enlivening economic relations between Estonia and France. At a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the Presidents briefly discussed the political situation in the Caucasian region.

The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, speaking at the summit's opening ceremony underlined the responsibility of world leaders for ensuring that the information and communication technology (ICT) provided all people with free access to knowledge and, by that, enabled millions of them to improve their lives.

At the opening, among others, the President of the Swiss Confederacy, Pascal Couchepin, the President of the Republic of Tunesia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, Yoshio Utsumi, and the President of the World Blind Union, Kicki Nordström, delivered welcoming remarks.

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) takes place in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003. The summit deals with a process, within which the world leaders first define general and common principles of action to promote the information society in the global context and, subsequently, agree on a relevant action plan that will be the theme of the next summit in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, in November 2005.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, December 10, 2003

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