Dialogue between World Bank/IMF Officials and NGOs to be Webcast Live from Prague Castle
Internet technologies will enable the world to witness a dialogue on globalization as
debated by senior officials of the World Bank and IMF as well private sector and NGO leaders. Econnect, a Czech non-profit internet
service provider, has been invited by President Havel's office to webcast live "Prague - dialog locus" (Prague - place of dialogue) at
www.globalizace.ecn.cz on September 23rd beginning at 11:00 CET.
This event will be dedicated to the principal problems of today's civilization, including the responsibility of mankind for development of
the poorest regions of the world. President Vaclav Havel has initiated this dialogue during the Annual Meetings of these international
institutions here. Moderated by Mrs. Mary Robinson, the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights, panelists include
Mr. Horst Köhler, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund, James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, Trevor A.
Manuel, Minister of Finance of the Republic of South Africa, financier and philanthropist George Soros, Ann Pettifor, Director of "Jubilee
2000 Coalition" in Great Britain, Walden Bello, Director of "Focus on the Global South", and Kateřina Lišková, member of the Czech
civic organization NESEHNUTÍ.
"This Internet transmission, together with ongoing 'chats' and Internet news coverage of official and alternative events, will provide an
interactive arena for both supporters and opponents of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Prague. Econnect's
coverage will contribute to an objective presentation of this historic dialogue," said its editor in chief Kateřina Fialová. Going forward,
this webcasting technology will remain in the Czech Republic, giving the non-profit sector an opportunity to continue such dialogues
beyond its borders on a range of issues.
The Castle event will be filmed by Czech State Television and Econnect will transmit both audio and video over the Internet. The
webcast and the chats will be available on Econnect's servers and become an central element of the archive of the Prague events and
be a platform for ongoing discussion.
This project has been supported by the Embassy of the United States of America, Office of Public Affairs in Prague, the Open Society
Institute's Network Internet Program, and the Media Development Loan Fund. In addition, the Prague-based The VIA Foundation has
been an ongoing partner in supporting NGO access to new technologies. Jiři Barta, director of Via, commented "By facilitating dialogue
on these issues such as poverty and globalization we hope to be part of the solution." The grant-making policy of the VIA Foundation is
primarily aimed at community development and capacity-building of non-profit organizations. "We support activities in which people
strive to influence public issues and life in their communities. We support those, who have resolved to act for change themselves, instead
of waiting for change to be brought about by someone else. We support those who understand that assumed responsibility is an integral
part of life in a free society", said Jiří Bárta.
Econnect (www.ecn.cz) offers connectivity throughout the Czech Republic enabling nonprofit organizations to communicate with the
general public via the Internet. Econnect is supported by the CS Mott Foundation, Open Society Fund-Prague, NROS Foundation
through the support of the European Union, Partnership Foundation. Services include email, electronic conferences, mailing lists,
registration and the management of domains. Econnect manages and provides over 2sh. Together with fifty organizations worldwide, Econnect is a member of the Association for
Progressive Communciations (www.apc.org).
For more information, contact Kateřina Fialová at Econnect, tel.+ 420 2 24311780, fax. +420 2 24317892