For the fourth consecutive year, Seoul ranked first in the survey on e-governance this year, and it will hold the inaugural assembly of the World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments (WEGO) from September 6 to 8, 2010. WEGO is an international organization with the chief aim of making local governments more effective and bridging the digital divide through exchanges and cooperation between local governments around the world.
WEGO was launched at the World e-Government Mayors Forum held in Seoul in July 2008, where the Seoul e-Government Declaration was adopted by mayors and representatives from 33 cities around the world.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has been preparing for the inaugural assembly over the last two years, and this assembly will be held, over the course of three days, under the theme “e-Sharing for All.” More than 1,000 people are expected to take part in the assembly, including delegations from about 50 cities around the world, such as Barcelona, Frankfurt and San Francisco. It is expected that Seoul will chair WEGO for the first time and that the secretariat of WEGO will be established in the city.
Seoul suggested establishing an international e-government network of cities from around the world
The meeting is sponsored by the United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG) under the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). A reception dinner will be held on September 6 followed by the opening ceremony and the main session on September 7, and a workshop on the following day. At the venue of the assembly, the IT exhibition hall will be open on September 7 to 8.
At the opening ceremony, Darrell M. West, vice president of the Brookings Institution, one of Washington’s oldest think tanks, will deliver the keynote address. Elections will be held in the main session to decide a city to chair WEGO this year and a city to host the next assembly. The assembly will also vote on the regulations of WEGO and will discuss cooperative programs.
Especially, the participants will share the best practices of e-governance, and representatives from seven cities, including Barcelona, Berlin and Frankfurt, will present cases of citizen participation. Domestic corporations, such as Samsung SDS, LG CNS and KT, will showcase their state-of-the-art IT technologies, such as electronic conference systems and touch screens. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will open the exhibition hall of U-City & GIS to introduce Korea’s cutting edge IT technology.
The workshop will be comprised of four sessions on subjects ranging from U-City, GIS, a UN e-government network and the ways to apply CCL that involve the disclosure of public information.
Seoul city aims at enhancing its brand value, improving the competitiveness of its IT industry and creating more jobs
The Seoul Metropolitan Government is to develop WEGO into the world’s most influential organization in the field of e-governance thereby enhancing Seoul’s brand value and improving the export competitiveness of its IT industry. A public official of the Metropolitan Government said, “Seoul can enhance its brand value by introducing the IT policies, technology and corporations of Seoul. And the IT companies based in Seoul will be able to make inroads into overseas markets and create more jobs with the help of WEGO.”
■ Global status of Seoul’s e-government
Seoul ranked first in the 100 Cities Survey on e-Government for the fourth consecutive time, thus solidifying its position as a global leader in the field of e-governance. The study was conducted jointly by the e-Governance Institute, the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark, and the Global e-Policy e-Government Institute at Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), Korea. This survey has been conducted biennially since 2003. According to the report of the World e-Government Evaluation Committee on July 13, 2010, Seoul maintained its top ranking in municipal e-governance in 2009 in a similar manner to the 2003, 2005 and 2007 surveys. About 680 people from 124 cities from around the world have visited Seoul to learn about the city’s e-government system. The city of Seoul has signed MOUs for e-government cooperation with 10 cities around the world, such as Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, Nairobi and Barcelona.