11.04.2002 -

UNESCO Member States Discuss Reform of International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)

Over the last 20 years, UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication has focused its projects on the most urgent priorities in communication development in developing countries. The efforts of the IPDC have had an important impact on a broad range of fields covering, among others, the promotion of press freedom, media independence and pluralism, community media, modernization of national and regional news agencies, radio as well as television organizations; and development of human

IPDC has mobilized some US$ 85 million for over 900 projects in more than 130 developing countries.

With the view to inspire new trust and new confidence in the Programme, the IPDC Council, during its 22nd session taking place in Paris from 10 to 12 April 2002, is discussing a set of recommendations for the reforms of its working methods that concern all aspects of the Programme activities. The topic of the thematic debate to be organized at the session will be « Is there still a need for IPDC - and ifyes, why? Media development: what direction will it take and what role will IPDC play in it? ».

At the opening session yesterday, the Council elected the new IPDC Bureau for the next two years. Torben Krogh of Denmark has been elected Chairperson with Vice-Chairpersons from Malaysia, Uruguay, Yemen and Luxembourg (followed by France in 2003); Malawi and the Russian Federation will send the three other members of the Bureau. Nacer Mehal of Algeria has been elected Rapporteur.

Reinhard Keune, outgoing Chairman of the Council, announced that the Bureau of IPDC decided to award the 2001 IPDC-Unesco Prize for Rural Communication to the Ecole Maestro Pablo Pizzurno for the creation of the Radio Huanacach network in the province of Mendoza (Argentina) and to Radio Quispillaccta for its role in the revival of Andean farming traditions and culture in the Department of Ayacucho (Peru). The two winners will share the IPDC prize of US$ 20,000.

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