Communication and Information

The achievement of peace and sustainable development is the key challenge of a 7 billion-strong planet. UNESCO works to achieve this by empowering individuals, particularly women and girls, through communication and information, in order to place them at the centre of the creation of knowledge societies, and at the centre of democratic and governance processes. 

UNESCO’s mandate to promote freedom of expression and freedom of information is a fundamental part of this action, adopting a human-rights based approach to encourage free speech and to seek, receive, and process information that underpins dialogue, democratic governance, social inclusion, and poverty eradication. 

ICTs and broadband networks are also promoted in view of their major role in providing individuals with access to information, whether this be for the delivery of quality education, the sharing of scientific and technological knowledge, the preservation of digital and documentary heritage for future generations, the furtherance of social cohesion, or the promotion of cultural diversity.

Free, independent and pluralistic media, including ethical and professional standards of journalists, are also fostered to boost the quality and capacities of media systems to inform individuals on key issues of sustainable development. The promotion of public service broadcasting and community radio is particularly relevant in this regard due to its outreach and ability to give voice to the marginalized, minority groups, or those affected by situations of conflict or disaster.

Encompassing these activities, UNESCO is one of the lead UN agencies engaged in shaping the multi-stakeholder coordination of World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) follow-up, to work towards a common vision for the development of inclusive Information Societies.  This aims to improve global connectivity, and to promote universal, equitable, and the affordable access and use of ICTs for development. 

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