10.03.2008 - UNESCO

Ethical dimensions of the information society: Asia-Pacific Conference opens this week in Hanoi

The Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO, in cooperation with UNESCO and other partners, is organizing the first Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific on the Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society, from 12 to 14 March 2008 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This Conference is an important step towards capturing the full potential of the information and communication revolution for development. It is also a significant forum for participants to discuss issues such as accessibility, confidentiality, privacy, diversity and respect of fundamental human values.

About 70 participants, including representatives of Government bodies, National Commissions for UNESCO, civil society, private sector, representatives of UNESCO field offices and Headquarters, are expected to attend the event.

The Conference will provide an opportunity for UNESCO Member States to develop a closer cooperation in the area of information ethics. It is also intended to give a constructive regional response to one of the three priorities of UNESCO's Information for All Programme, which is the Ethical, legal and societal implications of ICT. More particularly, the Conference objectives are to:

  • identify and discuss the issues considered priorities for Asia-Pacific region in the field of ethics of information and communication;
  • raise stakeholders' awareness of the ethical, legal and socio-economic dimensions of information and communication technologies;
  • Create a regional network of experts in this field and promote regional and inter-regional cooperation on information ethics;
  • contribute with the organization of this regional Conference, and subsequently through the Action Plan that could be drafted on this occasion, to the implementation of the WSIS Action Line C10 on the Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society, facilitated by UNESCO;
  • contribute to the UNESCO Draft Code of Ethics initiative (elaborated and discussed during the three previous regional Conferences);
  • further promote UNESCO's mission and commitment to ensuring sustainable development, peace and progress thanks to access to knowledge and increased use of ICT.

As the outcome of the Conference, the participants are expected to issue a statement on info-ethic and to elaborate a recommendation for a full development of UNESCO's draft Code of Ethics.

This Conference is following the holding of similar info-ethics regional events organized with the support of UNESCO for Latin America, Africa and Europe over the last two years. This series of regional consultations is contributing to improving the awareness about the challenges of ethics of information. The events also allow to devise the modalities and the criteria of assessing at national and regional levels the efforts to enhance the debate and the decision-making process on crucial info-ethical issues and consequently for measuring the developments in the field of information ethics. They facilitate as well strengthening international cooperation and lead towards the design and the implementation of pilot regional and inter-regional initiatives in this important field.

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