Increasing connectivity, information management and knowledge-sharing

Priority 5

Freedom of expression and democracy have been recognized in the SAMOA Pathway outcome document as fundamental conditions in reducing inequalities and the development of just democratic societies. As the United Nations agency with a specific mandate to promote “the free flow of ideas by word and image” UNESCO will work to foster free, independent and pluralistic media off and online in the SIDS. As a means to induce the transformative changes needed to address the complex and inter-related challenges that SIDS are encountering to access information and greater knowledge-sharing, UNESCO will work to promote policies for media development, press freedom and the safety of journalists through its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). IPDC will not only provide support for media projects – it will also work to secure healthy environments for the growth of free and pluralistic media in SIDS.

The free sharing of knowledge and information plays a pivotal role in the lives of SIDS inhabitants. The rapidly accelerating development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has the power to positively transform SIDS to create inclusive knowledge societies and empower communities to access, create, share, and preserve knowledge and information for sustainable development. As a key to building peace and sustainable economic development in the SIDS, the Organization, with the support of its intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP), will promote ‘openness’ in content, technology, and processes through awareness-raising, policy formulation and capacity-building. UNESCO will also support, and promote local content production in SIDS, by preserving their documentary heritage and encouraging multilingualism and respect for cultural diversity in cyberspace.

Three priority areas in communications are particularly relevant to address sustainable development in SIDS:

  1. Media development and literacy;
  2. Open access;
  3. Documentary heritage.
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