ACCESSION NUMBER:333798 FILE ID:LEF218 DATE:03/22/94 TITLE:GORE, MENEM DISCUSS PRIVATIZATION AND DEREGULATION (03/22/94) TEXT:*94032218.LEF GORE, MENEM DISCUSS PRIVATIZATION GARCIA 03/22/94 1LEF218 03/22/94* GORE, MENEM DISCUSS PRIVATIZATION AND DEREGULATION (Story based on 3/31 ITU meeting) mg (680) (With Lsi204 of 03/22/94) By Jaime Lopez Recalde USIA Special Correspondent BUENOS AIRES -- Argentine President Carlos Menem and U.S. Vice President Al Gore hailed the excellent results obtained through privatization and deregulation in the field of telecommunication. They also urged world support for technological advances that benefit mankind through improved education, more accesible health systems, and protection of human rights through better reporting of violations. The two spoke at the opening of the First World Telecommunications Development Conference March 21. The conference was organized by the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations organization of 182 countries based in Geneva. One of the objectives of the nine-day conference is to explore the expansion of modern telecommunications to the most remote parts of the world, especially the poorest countries. Menem discussed his successful economic program based on privatization and the free-market concept. He thanked the audience for the opportunity to tell the world "of our accomplishments in transforming the state and deregulating and privatizing the communications system." Now the state, he said, can concentrate on its primary responsibility -- delivery of basic services to the community: education, public health, and security. "Public services in government hands were turned over to the private sector," Menem said. "The first positive results came from the telecommunications sector. This brought state-of-the-art technology, and we have seen significant progress in the last three years. We have made important progress in cellular telephony. We have set up an internal satellite and taken the telephone to rural areas." From a political point of view, Menem said, "no progress can be made without a healthy economy and no nation is free if the right to communication is not guaranteed. "Freedom of communication makes it possible to defend human rights because violations can be reported." ITU Secretary General Pekka Tarjanne said the benefits of telecommunications should be extended to all nations of the world "in order to defend human rights, combat poverty, and further economic and social progress." Gore described the "information superhighway," which is part of a program called the Global Information Infrastructure (GII). "We now can at last create a planetary information network that transmits messages and images with the speed of light from the largest city to the smallest village on every continent," he said. "This GII will circle the globe with information superhighways on which all people can travel. These highways -- or, more accurately, networks of distributed intelligence -- will allow us to share information, to connect, and to communicate as a global community. "From these connections we will derive robust and sustainable economic progress, strong democracies, better solutions to global and local environmental challenges, improved health care, and -- ultimately -- a greater sense of shared stewardship of our small planet." He added that the GII "will greatly promote the ability of nations to 1ooperate with each other. I see an new Athenian Age of democracy forged in the fora the GII will create." Gore said the U.S. National Information Infrastructure "will be built and maintained by the private sector. It will consist of hundreds of different networks, run by different companies and using different technologies, all connected together in a giant `network of networks,' providing telephone and interactive digital video to almost every American." The U.S. plan is based on five principles: encourage private investment; promote competition; create a flexible regulatory framework that can keep pace with rapid technological and market changes; provide open access to the network for all information providers; and ensure universal service. At the airport as he prepared to leave for Brazil, Gore praised Menem's achievements in economics and foreign policy, especially the participation of Argentine soldiers in United Nations missions in the former Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Croatia, and other regions of the world. NNNN .