Communication & Information

As the United Nations agency with a specific mandate to promote “the free flow of ideas by word and image”, UNESCO works to foster freedom of expression, and its corollaries, press freedom and freedom of information. UNESCO sees these rights as crucial foundations of democracy, sustainable development, dialogue, and as preconditions for protecting and promoting all other human rights including gender equality. The Organization operationalize this mandate through two overarching themes: Fostering Freedom of Expression and Building Knowledge Societies.

The Communication and Information Unit based in the Office in Jakarta is responsible for implementing UNESCO’s Communication and Information mandate in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor Leste through concrete actions in awareness-raising, capacity building, and policy advice.

Advancing press freedom across all types of media includes monitoring, sensitization and advocacy efforts, such as through major awareness-raising campaigns including the annual celebration World Press Freedom Day on 3 May and the awarding of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. UNESCO is also leads the global commemoration of the World Radio Day on 13 February and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November.

In addition, the Organization also contributes to strengthening professional standards through capacity-building and self-regulation mechanisms (such as codes of ethics, press councils and in-house news ombuds) and promoting the safety of journalists where UNESCO is the global facilitator for the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. UNESCO facilitates multi-stakeholder dialogue and mobilises policy advisory services toward legal and regulatory environments conducive to freedom of expression.

The sharing of knowledge and information, particularly Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has the power to transform economies and societies. UNESCO works to create inclusive knowledge societies and empower local communities by increasing access to information and knowledge in all of UNESCO’s domains while at the same time be critical users, producers, and sharers of information through our Media and Information Literacy programme.

UNESCO takes actions aimed at safeguarding documentary and audiovisual heritage in particular through the Memory of the World Programme. Its vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved, protected and permanently accessible to all without hindrance.

UNESCO also promotes ‘Openness’ in content, technology, and processes through awareness raising, policy formulation and capacity building. These solutions include Open Educational Resources. Such resources allow researchers and innovators to more easily share and use data. They also provide students and educators from around the world with unprecedented access to knowledge and information.

Areas of action

Contact Person

For more information about the Communication and Information Unit's programme and activities in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor Leste, please contact:

Dr. Ming-Kuok LIM, PhD.
Advisor for Communication and Information
mk.lim(at)unesco.org

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