Information for All Programme expansion discussed this week at UNESCO
The fifteenth meeting of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme (IFAP) was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, 10-11 February 2009. The two-day event brought together representatives of 8 Member States elected to the Bureau, as well as observers from governments and civil society.
Among the important issues that were addressed by the Bureau of the Council that is presently chaired by Karol Jakubowicz of Poland, were:
- the follow-up activities to the endorsement of the Strategic Plan of IFAP by the Executive Board in October 2008,
- IFAP's contribution to the international information society debate and to the implementation of WSIS Action Lines,
- the assistance to Member States in developing and implementing national information policies,
- improvement of the effectiveness and efficiency of IFAP,
- the working methods of IFAP Bureau,
- the status of implementation of approved IFAP Projects, and
- prospects for funding of IFAP and of new initiatives under IFAP priorities endorsed by the Executive Board.
The Bureau heard reports on the establishment of 4 working groups: on information literacy, information ethics, information preservation and information for development. It also considered forms of its contribution to the preparation of the draft biennial programmes and medium term strategies of UNESCO. The information ethics group was invited to start working on a draft code of ethics for the Information Society.
The debate on the various issues ended with the adoption of specific decisions that include the preparation of practical guidelines for the establishment and operation of a National IFAP Committee; an invitation to National Commissions for UNESCO to help set up National IFAP Committees or revive and strengthen the existing ones; the definition of a procedure for the Bureau to give recognition to National IFAP Committees which best contribute to implementing IFAP goals and promote Information for All, and the further involvement of civil society organizations in the activities of the National IFAP Committees.
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 and strengthened international cooperation in this field.
The Bureau presently includes Austria, Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Jamaica, Nigeria, Poland and Thailand.
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