IPDC Bureau to decide on its support to media development projects at meeting in Paris
The Bureau of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) will gather from 22 to 24 March 2011 for its 55th annual project selection meeting at UNESCO Headquarters. It will consider 118 media development projects from 81 developing countries.
Forty percent of the projects submitted concern Africa, 26% Asia and the Pacific, 22% Latin America and the Caribbean, 10% the Arab States and 2% Europe. These projects will provide vital support to local media organizations, journalists' associations, community media, media training institutions and journalism departments, in their efforts to promote free, independent and pluralistic media. Thanks to the voluntary contributions made by UNESCO Member States to the IPDC Special Account, over US$ 2,6 million are available this year for allocation to the approved projects.
The submitted projects fall under the three IPDC priorities: promoting freedom of expression, developing community media and professional capacity building.
A significant number of them relate this year to IPDC's three special initiatives launched in recent years:
<li><a href="http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/intergovernmental-programmes/ipdc/special-initiatives/centres-of-excellence-in-journalism-education/">fostering excellence in journalism education in Africa</a>;
<li><a href="http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/intergovernmental-programmes/ipdc/special-initiatives/safety-of-journalists/">promoting the safety of journalists and fighting the impunity of perpetrators of crimes against journalists</a>; and
<li><a href="http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/intergovernmental-programmes/ipdc/special-initiatives/media-development-indicators-mdis/">assessing national media landscape using UNESCO's Media Development Indicators.</a>
Moreover, an important focus has been placed on gender equality.
The IPDC Bureau, consisting of eight members of the Intergovernmental Council of IPDC, will be chaired by Mr Raghu Menon, Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, elected Chairman of the Programme at the 27th session of the IPDC Council last year. Media experts and observers are also invited to the meeting.
Unique in the United Nations system, the IPDC Programme was created in 1980 with the aim of expanding opportunities for free and independent media in developing countries. In three decades, IPDC has channelled more than US$ 100 million to some 1500 media development projects in more than 140 countries.
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