27th IPDC Council adopts Decision aimed at ensuring the Safety of journalists and deterring impunity
At its 27th session, the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) has elected Mr Raghu Menon (India) as the new Chairman of the Council. The thirty-nine Council members also reached an agreement on the new composition of the IPDC Bureau, which is responsible for the evaluation and approval of IPDC projects.
Raghu Menon is the sixth Chairperson to preside over the IPDC Council since its inception in 1980. Mr Menon has worked in the Indian Government for over 35 years in various capacities.He is currently Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication.
Representatives of Thailand and Venezuela were elected to the positions of Vice-chairpersons of the Bureau, while Egypt and Yemen will share the third Vice-chairperson position, each for one year. The other members elected to the IPDC Bureau are Namibia, the Russian Federation and the United States of America. Mr Mamadou Koumé (Senegal) was re-elected as Rapporteur.
The <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=13296&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">IPDC Council</a> unanimously adopted the Decision on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity calling on governments to report to the UNESCO DG on their investigations into the <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=16998&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">killings of journalists</a>. This Decision also requests the General Conference of UNESCO to encourage news rooms around the world to observe one minute silence every year on <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=29293&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">World Press Freedom Day (3 May)</a> to honour the journalists killed each year.
The award ceremony of the <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=13521&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">UNESCO Prize for Rural Communication</a> was held on 24 March. <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=29676&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">The two winners</a>, the Mexican radio "La Voz de los campesinos" and the Egyptian journalist Amr Mamdouh Ellissy, shared the $20,000 Prize and received a diploma from the Chairman of the IPDC Council.
The agenda of the meeting also included the examination of a report on IPDC's activities during the last biennium and a discussion on the application of UNESCO's <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=26032&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Media Development Indicators</a>, with case studies from Croatia, Mozambique and the Maldives. A thematic debate on "Free, independent and pluralistic media: the enabling role of the State" was organized, in which three examples of good practices in this area were presented: the Media Development and Diversity Agency in South Africa, the Uruguayan new Law on Community Broadcasting and the Indonesian Press Council. Member States took advantage of this debate to share information about their respective national media environments and ways in which positive State intervention has helped to foster media pluralism and freedom of expression.
The IPDC Council meets every two years. The preliminary dates agreed upon for its next session are 21-23 March 2012. The 55th Bureau meeting will for its part take place from 23 to 25 March 2011.
Unique in the United Nations system, the IPDC Programme celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. It was created with the aim of expanding opportunities for free and independent media in developing countries. In three decades, IPDC has channelled almost US$ 100 million to some 1200 media development projects in more than 140 countries.
<a href="ev.php?URL_ID=29721&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Inaugural Speech by Mr Raghu Menon, new Chairperson of the IPDC Council</a>
<a href="ev.php?URL_ID=29722&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Address by Mrs Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General</a>