Communication & Information
The UNESCO Communication and Information Sector (CI) was established in its present form in 1990. Its programmes are rooted in UNESCO’s Constitution, which requires the Organization to promote the “free flow of ideas by word and image.” However, CI Unit in UNESCO Office in Jakarta was established in 1998 to assist the progress towards a free and open press and media through training programmes in Indonesia, Timor Leste, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
The CI Unit promotes freedom of expression and freedom of the press as a basic human right through lobbying and monitoring activities. It highlights media independence and pluralism as fundamental to the democcratic proces by providing advisory services on media legislation and by making governments, parliamentarians and other decision-makers aware of the need to guarantee free expression. Number of training sessions have been conducted to support independent media in conflict zones to enable them playing an active role in conflict prevention and resolution and the transition towards a culture of peace.
The CI Unit also gives high priority to the issue of providing and strengthening communication and information facilities to local communities. The CI Unit promotes local community empowerment and addresses the digital divide by developing Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs). This programme offers a global strategy for addressing the digital divide opens a gateway to active membership of the global knowledge society by making information and communication the basic tools of the poor in improving their own lives. The CMC which combines a radio station with community telecentre facilities allows the radio not only to inform, educate and entertain, but also it empowers the community by providing a strong public voice to the voiceless, and thus encouraging greater accountability in public affairs.
Areas of action
For more information about Communication and Information Unit programme and activities in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor Leste, please contact:
Mr. Charaf Ahmimed