Knowledge Societies and ICTs

© UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The current revolution in information technology and networks, makes communication systems of special importance to indigenous peoples – for sharing, informing and educating, for generating income and reinforcing self-reliance. Indeed, new information and communication technologies (ICTs), with their potential to break through social and geographic obstacles, have considerably increased communities’ capacity to access information and to share experience and practices in almost any part of the world.

However, to use technologies wisely, communication infrastructures must be adapted to the needs and aspirations of the indigenous peoples and to the objectives as defined by them. Promoting the “free flow of ideas by word and image” is one of UNESCO’s constitutional responsibilities, and that charge has been reflected in UNESCO’s programmes since the early days of the Organization.

UNESCO’s principal concerns in this domain include access to content, cultural diversity, freedom of expression, knowledge societies, investments in science and technology, etc. These areas are all of special interest to indigenous peoples.

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