16.03.2006 -

Information for All on UNESCO's agenda next week

On Monday, 20 March, opens at UNESCO's Paris Headquarters the 4th session of the Intergovernmental Council for UNESCO's Information for All Programme (IFAP). The three day event brings together representatives of 26 Member States elected to the Council and Observers from governments, civil society and the private sector.

Among the issues that will be addressed by the Council that is presently chaired by Daniel Malbert of France, is IFAP's contribution to the follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The Council will also discuss UNESCO's future medium-term strategy in the area of communication and information.


The Information for All Programme is an intergovernmental programme, created in 2000. Through IFAP, UNESCO's Member States pledged to harness the new opportunities of the information age to create equitable societies through better access to information.


The Council presently includes Angola, Austria , Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, China, Congo, Czech Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Madagascar, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Sudan, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay and Venezuela.


The IFAP Council meets in parallel to the Intergovernmental Council for the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), UNESCO's Forum designed to develop free and pluralistic media with a global approach to democratic development.


Both Councils will join on 22 March to a thematic debate on "Giving Voice to Local Communities: From Community radio to Blogs". The debate is intended to present and discuss examples of best practices of local communities using both traditional and new media to access and produce information (and knowledge) that is relevant to their development. The discussion should outline policy developments that are necessary to increase the community access to information and to reap the benefits from converging technologies.

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