Minister Eligijus Masiulis: everybody needs having an opportunity of using the Internet

Date

2010 09 14

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“The Internet Governance Forum is one of the largest events arranged in Lithuania and certainly it is the most important one in the field of information technologies. It is an opportunity and challenge for us – we will try to be active in discussing the main theme of the Forum, the particularly important Internet development theme”, said Minister Masiulis.
 
According to the Minister, today in many advanced countries the right to Internet access is considered a principal human right, as the right to freedom, work, health care or property. Several EU member states have already legally approved this human right.  
 
The Internet has a particular influence on democratic processes and human rights; therefore it stimulates the involvement of people in the analogical space and enhances the freedom of self-expression.
 
“It is doubtless that the Internet is particularly important for the development of national economies. As a minister, responsible not only for communications and information technologies, but also for transport, I can say that the Internet development influences significantly the efficiency of infrastructure development in road, railway and other transport modes, it also facilitates trade, export of services, improves business environment and stimulates competitive ability. The Internet influences operation efficiency of private companies and contributes to the growth of national GDP”, noted Minister Masiulis in his opening speech.  
 
To include the Internet among the economic development factors and to give opportunities for all population to have the high-speed Internet access – the business initiative is not sufficient enough. Here the role of governmental institutions is quite significant, and projects have to be implemented continuously, so that to provide the Internet access for various social groups independently from their inhabitation. Particularly much attention should be focused on the solution of these issues in developing countries.        
 
Actually Lithuania moves in this direction as well by laying internet networks in rural territories. At present 80% of population has access to the broadband Internet. In 2015 the high-speed Internet should be accessible to 98% of Lithuanian population. Already now Lithuania has a most dense network of free public Internet access points.      
 
Statistic data of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) show that in the end of 2009 the Internet was used by 1.8 billion people in the world. 
 
The Internet Governance Forum in Vilnius has been organised by the Secretariat-General of the United Nations together with the Lithuanian Ministry of Transport and Communications. Beside the UN and Governmental structures the Forum hosts representatives of the most considerable Internet companies, non-governmental organisations and scientific-academic society. It is the most important event of global importance in the field of Internet Governance. Lithuania has not yet had organised such a high-scale event as far as now. This Forum will provide Lithuania with new opportunities for developing of knowledge society; it will also extend the familiarity of Lithuania and will facilitate tourism development.       
 
During the IGF2010 many meetings of Lithuanian and international businessmen will be held, also several dozens of discussions on the Internet theme will take place regarding such topics as: word freedom, censorship, Internet influence on business, society development, children, internet terrorism, etc.     
 
More information on the Global Internet Governance Forum in Vilnius is provided on the Websites: www.igf2010.lt and www.intgovforum.org, the direct broadcasting by the Internet on: http://webcast.intgovforum.org/ .