The United Nation?s first global meeting on the millennium bug rounded off a week of Year 2000 action around the world last week.
At the conference, held in New York on Friday, the United Nations General Assembly called for member states to urgently step up their efforts in tackling the Year 2000 problem and improve global response to the issue.
In his address, UN secretary Kofi Annan told global Year 2000 coordinators that the effects of the problem would be felt on both an national level, including energy supplies and transport, and on an international level in such areas as telecommunications and defence technology.
?International co-operation is more indispensable than ever.? he warned.
Ambassador Ahmed Kamal, chairman of the ECOSOC working group on informatics, added that many member states are a long way from their target of ensuring millennium compliance.
He commented: ?We now have two separate tasks thrust upon us: firstly to ensure the maximum level of compliance by the due date; and secondly to plan for all the crisis situations that are certain to arise in 2000 as different sectors are hit by non compliance.?
The delegates agreed to put pressure on their respective governments to make millennium issues their top priority and that World Bank funds could be a possible solution in helping poorer counties pay for their compliance work.
Earlier in the week, the initial results from the UK governments Bug Park scheme showed worrying results. Ironically the scheme was set up by Government body Action 2000 last month to act as an example to firms trying to tackle the millennium issue.
However, the results showed the companies taking part have done very little work in solving the problem and been very slow in making key decisions.
Meanwhile, the latest report from Year 2000 expert and chief economist at Deutsche Bank, Ed Yardeni, said businesses are not spending enough on ensuring compliance.
?I believe there must be a good direct correlation between the percentage of budget spent and progress in Year 2K remediation. If this assumption is correct then many companies have a great deal of work to do in a very short period of time,? he warned
Yardeni said 33 per cent of the 415 companies he had surveyed had spent less than one third of their budgets so far.
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