Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Up to Vienna

It was late last night. On one of the office computer e-mail and Internet had died. Our systems guy Rob, mailed some instructions. But they did not work. So it was time to get on the phone. It took half an hour to decide that it was a hardware failure and not a software failure. Eventually we found out that it was a hub, that had gone haywire. By just resetting it, e-mail and Internet sprung to life again. I hate this waste of time.

First thing in the morning was going to the polling station and vote in favoutr of Europe. YES for Europe. But the rest of The Netherlands will not follow. The forecasts are only consistent in the majority of the NO vote:
Interview/NSS: 46-54
De Hondt: 41-59
TNS NIPO: 38-62
For the rest the only conclusion can be that The Netherlands will most likely vote NO with even higher number of NO voters than in France. It must be a black day to be a politician in The Hague: if you vote in favour of Europe, you loose; if you are against it as a politician, you should have done your homework. But the next question will be: is the government going to quit now; will the prime minister drop the secretary of state for European affairs (not much of a strong man) or do we just go on, minding our business as usual.
I just saw the blog of my French friend, who is living in Poland now (he is more days abroad, I guess). He wrote his motivation in French to vote NO: he is in favour of a United Europe, but says NO to the constitutioonal document and argues the case.

So I will leave the country today and fly to Vienna. This is not out of revenge, but there will be the conference. It is a conference in the framework of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in November. Officially the conference is dubbed: WSIS Contributory Conference on ICT & Creativity. The conference has been convened by the Austrian government. The conference will be attended by politicians, government officials, educators and journalists.

Picture taken in Hong Kong in May 2004. Minister Abdul Moyeen Khan of Bangladesh and our eminent WSA expert MD. Akteruzzaman with Peter Bruck, the initiator of the Vienna Conference on ICT & Creativity. Posted by Hello

On the list I saw Abdul Moyeen Khan, the Minister of Science and Information & Communication Technology of the Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh. I met him in Hong Kong last year and he made quite some impression on me. In a speech he said that he would love to lower the military budget of his country and use the freefall for computers and telephone networks.

For the next days, there is quite a strenuous schedule. First day from 10.00h to 21.00h, officially. After that another meeting will be started up, which probably lasts till 23.00h. The next day is from 9.00h till 17.30h. There will be 300 people, of which 70 speakers. And by that time the declaration of Vienna should be hammered out. This document will be input to the WSIS.

I will see many meet people from the European Academy of Digital Media and of the World Summit Award. It will start at the airport where I will meet the Belgian ISOC manager Rudi at Vienna airport and travel with him to the centre of the city. Then I will have to hurry to a reception at the Federal Chancellery. After that I will phone my friend Cai and Stein by handy (this is the German word for mobile telephone). They will probably be in a pub behind a large glass of beer. It is a pity Waheed from Bahrain had to call off at the last minute.

BTW there will be Wi-FI, so I will submit reports from the conference floor.

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