The 9th IFAP Council meeting successfully concluded its work
On 30 May 2016, the ninth session of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme (IFAP) was opened at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The two-day meeting brought together representatives of the 26 Member States elected to the Council by UNESCO's General Conference at its last session in November 2015, as well as observers from Member States, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations having official status with UNESCO.
In his opening remarks, the Assistant Director-General for CI, Mr. Frank La Rue commended the outgoing Bureau for the end of a successful term marked by positive examples of IFAP’s work over the last two years, in building knowledge societies at the global, regional and local levels. Mr. La Rue drew attention to a number of important international conferences and projects implemented in Africa, Asia, Europe as well Latin America and the Caribbean. Recognizing that the priorities addressed by IFAP are some of the most urgent issues in building knowledge societies, he urged Member States “to strengthen the sustainability of national IFAP bodies in order to effectively leverage IFAP’s potential for contributing to the 2030 SDGs”
The Council is responsible for guiding the planning and the implementation of IFAP and used the 2-day session to review its achievements and discuss the strategic orientations for the Programme during the 2016-2019 period. Particular attention was given to further improving IFAP's working modalities, financial situation and visibility, as well positioning IFAP’s actions within the context of the SDG and the WSIS + 10 process. As a technical advisory body to the Director-General, the Council also dedicated a portion of its second-day session to discussing policy responses to challenges linked to the Internet, Youth and Radicalization.
During the first-day session, the Council elected eight of its Members to the Bureau for a term of two years. Following a successful 2-year mandate, filled with numerous remarkable realizations, the Council re-elected for Chairmanship the representative of Grenada, Ms. Chafica Haddad, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Grenada to UNESCO as its Chair and as Chair of the IFAP Bureau.
Also elected to the Bureau were China, Ghana and the Russian Federation as Vice-Chairs, with Peru, Sudan and Switzerland as Members and Slovakia as the Rapporteur.
The Bureau is the operational body of the Council and is expected to play a key role in implementing the recommendations adopted by the Council, leading the Working Groups constituted to address IFAP's strategic priority areas, provide support to the National IFAP Committees in their respective regions, and promote visibility and resource mobilization for the Programme.
The intergovernmental Information for All Programme was established in 2001. It provides a platform for international policy discussions, cooperation and the development of guidelines for action in the area of access to information and knowledge. The Programme supports Member States to develop and implement national information policy and strategy frameworks in the areas of information accessibility, information for development, information ethics, information literacy, information preservation and multilingualism.
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