A new year is about to begin and the Communication and Information (CI) Sector is redoubling its efforts to promote the free flow of information in every corner of the globe. In this regard, during 2012, the CI Sector will be executing three major events/activities: 20th Anniversary Celebrations of the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme, World Press Freedom Day and the World OER Congress.
The MoW’s establishment was necessary as many documents across the globe which highlighted the history and cultural richness and diversity of our common humanity were at risk of being lost due to a lack of adequate facilities, illegal trading, and looting. The high expectations expressed by Member States during the last session of the General Conference gave additional impetus for the 20th anniversary celebrations.
Events will be held in different parts of the world to promote and showcase documentary heritage. Furthermore, an international conference on digital heritage preservation titled “The Memory of the World in the Digital Age” will be organized by UNESCO in Canada, in September 2012. >> More
On May 3, 2012, the critical role played by the press in the development of democracy will once again come into focus. Every year on this day, World Press Freedom Day, UNESCO, the only UN entity with a mandate to promote press freedom, celebrates the tireless efforts of journalists who seek to supply citizens with a continuous flow of information. The root of UNESCO’s support for press freedom can be found in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights which states “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
On this day, UNESCO and other stakeholders not only reflect on the state of the media including challenges to press freedom, but also encourage citizens and governments alike to recognize the importance of a free press. During World Press Freedom Day, UNESCO also seeks further support to remove and/or reduce barriers which threaten press freedom including threats of violence against journalists. UNESCO’s commitment to a free press is also evident through the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize which is awarded annually on May 3 to journalists who illustrate the highest levels of commitment to press freedom and free speech despite threats against them. >> More
At the heart of UNESCO’s quest to build inclusive Knowledge Societies is the Open Educational Resources (OER) Programme. Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an open license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution. Through OER, millions of people around the world will have access to information which can be used for social and economic development.
With the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and in full partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) will be organizing a World OER Congress from 20 to 22 June 2012. The Congress' objectives are: