UNESCO hosts Caribbean Conference on Community Multimedia Centres in Trinidad and Tobago
Twenty-five delegates from ten Caribbean countries participated in the UNESCO-sponsored 2nd Caribbean Conference on Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs), which was held in Port of Spain and Toco (Trinidad and Tobago) from 10 to 12 March 2010. The Toco Declaration, adopted at the end of the Conference, outlines the structure of the future association of Caribbean CMCs.
The following countries were represented at the Conference: Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The event, which was organized in cooperation with the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, was officially launched open by the Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Information, Neil Parsanlal. In his speech Mr Parsanlal commended UNESCO for its continued interest in media development and expressed gratitude to it for hosting the Conference in "the media capital of the English-speaking Caribbean".
The representative of UNESCO's Kingston Office, Isidro Fernandez- Aballí, who further addressed the Conference, outlined the historical evolution of community multimedia centres in the Caribbean region and pointed out the importance of having a sustainable CMC network. He encouraged the delegates to form an association that would ensure the necessary visibility for such a network.
The Conference mainly focused on the following topics:
<li>Streaming Caribbean radio and TV programme on the Internet;
<li>Improving the Multimedia for Caribbean Communities portal (www.mcclinks.com);
<li>Creating a community of practice with Caribbean CMCs;
<li>Creating a Caribbean CMC training centre;
<li>Developing a CMC Caribbean Network and an association of Caribbean CMCs.
By the end of the Conference, the Toco Declaration was formulated and adopted by the delegates. This political document outlines the future of the association of Caribbean CMCs, including its governance structure, its vision and possibilities for sustainable development.
The participants, who were mainly representatives of community radios and telecentres, expressed appreciation to UNESCO for its continued support to alternative media. They also promised to work assiduously to make the future association of CMCs a success.
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