Regional conference on governmental public domain information in Russia
The issue of access to governmental public domain Information was discussed by some 150 experts at a conference in Smolensk (Russia) in late June 2005 organized under the auspices of UNESCO's Information for All Programme.
The participants of the conference, that was organized by the Smolensk Region Administration and the UNESCO IFAP National Committee of Russia, discussed the collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and Mass Media of Russia and the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade of Russia within the framework of Federal Programme "Electronic Russia". The agreement outlines a roadmap of cooperation between the network of "Community Centers of Socially Significant Information", established by the UNESCO IFAP National Committee of Russia, the Ministry of Culture and Mass Media of Russia, and the network of Public Access Centers, created by the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade of Russia.
The main item on the agenda was the discussion of UNESCO's "Policy Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Governmental Public Domain Information", and the "Declaration on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Information Society". Both were translated into Russian by the UNESCO IFAP National Committee of Russia.
The experts - policymakers, legal experts, education, science, culture and ICT professionals, civil society and business representatives from Russia and CIS countries - also discussed the outcomes of the session on "Universal Access to Public Domain Information" of the international conference "UNESCO Between two Phases of the World Summit on the Information Society" that took place in St. Petersburg earlier this year.
Welcoming the initiative of the UNESCO IFAP National Committee of Russia, Alexander Gorelik, UN Information Centre in Moscow, stressed the importance of cooperation between state, business, civil society and volunteers in building knowledge societies.
Selena Semushkina, Federal Agency for Information Technologies, said: "It is really important that state bodies, businesses and public organizations jointly endorse a new approach to access to information". She stressed the educational potential of online information and its potentially long-run impact on economics, science and culture of Russia.
According to Irina Zadirako, Department of New Economics in the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade, the conference was an important step forward towards an information society in which close cooperation between the public sector, the private sector and civil society will be increasingly important.
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