19.06.2012 - UNESCO

First Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue Week: What is next?

The importance of media and information literate citizenries to foster inter-cultural dialogue and mutual understanding reverberated during the first Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Week held in Barcelona, Spain, from 22 to 25 May 2012.

MILID Week was hosted by the Autonomous University of Barcelona in association with the International Association on Media Education (MENTOR) and other members of UNESCO-UNAOC MILID International University Network: Cairo University (Egypt), University of the West Indies (Jamaica), University of São Paulo (Brazil), Temple University (United States), Tsinghua University (China), Queensland University of Technology (Australia) and Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University (Morocco). 

Members of the MILID University Network (click to watch video) agreed on a concrete plan of action (click to watch video) which includes carrying out relevant research, launch  an international online MIL course, an international Doctoral programme on MIL and intercultural dialogue and adaptation of the model MIL Curriculum for Teachers published by UNESCO.

The event has led to greater awareness and advocacy for MIL and will be further deepened through the implementation of the joint plan of action, the local programmes of individual universities and the individual programmes of UNESCO, UNAOC and other stakeholders.

MILID week was the first in a series of activities to commemorate the first anniversary of the Fez Declaration on MIL adopted during the First International Forum on MIL held in Fez Morocco in June 2012. The International Seminar on MIL (19-20 June 2012) and the International Conference on Media and Information Literacy for Knowledge Societies (24-28 June 2012) are other events in the series.

These events either supported or endorsed by UNESCO have a deeper purpose than what may be evident on the surface. They are a part of UNESCO’s global strategy to address MIL as composite concept for greater impact on civic participation, sustainable development, democracy and good governance.

They mark an era where the coming together of the Alexandria Proclamation and Grunwald Declaration is being realized after over 30 years (click to watch video). UNESCO is proud to be leading this charge in an area that holds much potential for citizens’ empowerment, civic participation and real development.  

We value our partnership with the UNAOC and many other stakeholders globally. During this first MILID Week, UNESCO announced the Global Forum for Partnership on MIL (GFPMIL).

The purpose of MILID Week was twofold:

  • strengthening partnership among member universities of the UNESCO-UNAOC MILID International University Network while encouraging the involvement of other universities and stakeholders; and
  • facilitating debates and increase awareness and advocacy for MIL, its relevance to intercultural dialogue and the need for national policies.

Over 120 participants including researchers, academicians, media, information and ICT experts and other community based stakeholders from all region of the world participated and contributed to the success of the Week. Some of the key outcomes are the following:

  • agreement on a joint-action plan to promote MIL and intercultural dialogue;
  • recommendation for the development of a global database on MIL initiatives that could facilitate partnership and research into the linkages between relevant policies and concrete MIL activities;
  • recommendation for a global research on trends in MIL;
  • agreement by stakeholders to contribute to the further development of the demo version of an intercultural MIL multimedia teaching resources for teachers that was launched during the meeting;
  • launch of an associate membership scheme by the University Network;
  • greater awareness by participants that the acquisition of media and information competencies can enable citizens to more effectively assess how they perceive and interact with other peoples, cultures and religions.
  • recognition by key stakeholders of the added value to treat MIL as a composite concept.

The next MILID Week will be hosted by the University of Cairo.

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