Global Y2K Initiative Launches

Posted on February 8, 1999

The Global Development Center (GDC), a non-profit organization, has announced the launch of a new Global Y2K Initiative. The Initiative approaches the potential Y2K crisis from two perspectives. While emphasizing the seriousness of the situation, GDC stresses that it can serve as the foundation for serious global cooperation with long-term benefits. In addition, the website offers an opportunity to visitors to express their opinions and offer their insights with specific respect to their own countries, as well as from a global viewpoint.

Bob Adams, GDC's Executive Director, says in a statement, "We're not a 'doomsday site' and, being a non-profit, we have nothing to gain financially by being sensationalistic, but matters are getting out of hand. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of how thoroughly integrated computers have become in emerging markets and developing nations, especially in reference to their basic systems: electricity, water, transportation, and communication, among others. It's one thing to have a systemic failure in one country. But to have it simultaneously in 50 or 100 countries would be disastrous."

Adams stressed that this should be a major concern for Americans, Europeans, and others from more affluent countries who normally do not follow affairs in developing nations that closely. "The globalization process is real. We see what isolated setbacks in Russia or Brazil can do to financial markets. We have seen recently in Colombia, following the earthquake, how quickly civil order can collapse when basic services fail. This is nothing compared to what would happen if the Y2K problem is not addressed openly and firmly, right now."

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