The UNESCO High-Level Symposium on the eve of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) brought together eminent political and intellectual world leaders to debate main implications and challenges for the construction of knowledge societies.
The event was opened on Tuesday, 9 December at 3:00 p.m. by UNESCO's Director General, Koïchiro Matsuura with Nitin Desai, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for WSIS, Marc Furrer, Secretary of State for WSIS of Switzerland and Adama Samassékou, President of the WSIS Preparatory Committee.
Four heads of states participated in the two panels (9 and 10 December): Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of the Latvia, Joaquim Alberto Chissano, President of Mozambique and Chairman of African Union and Boris Trajkovski, President of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Among the other panelists were eminent experts such as Gary Becker, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Monkombu S. Swaminathan, Chairman of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation of India, Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law School, Valdas Adamkus, Former President of Lithuania, John Gage, Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office of Sun Microsystems and Abdul-Muyeed Chowdhury, Executive Director of BRAC of Bangladesh.
The High-Level Symposium was organized by UNESCO together with the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM).
For a summary of the debates of the symposium see: UNESCO High-Level Symposium on Knowledge Societies at WSIS concluded
Read the speeches of the panels
For the printable agenda with the names of all High-Level speakers please see: Agenda of the Symposium
UNESCO's main page on the Summit process: