Role of UNESCO in bridging the gap between north and south

The role of the media in the changing world is now more important, more relevant than ever, it involves a mobilization, a call which has to emanate from the people, who can and must participate. UNESCO reaffirms its commitment to the “free flow information” in order encourage the free flow of ideas by word and image and a wider and a better balance, dissemination of all forms of information contributing to the advancement of societies without any obstacle to freedom of expression, both through the traditional media and new electronic media system.

UNESCO have also endeavoured, in recent years, to promote the educational and cultural dimensions in the media.  The establishment in 1993 of the “World Radio and Television Council” was an important landmark in the direction.  This move has also made it possible to disseminate information on the action taken by professional organization to reduce violence in the media and win recognition.

UNESCO’s constitution states that is necessary to foster “ the free exchange of ideas and knowledge to develop and increase the means of communication between peoples and to employ”  For the current biennium 1998-99, freedom of expression and freedom of the press is still one of UNESCO’s major programmes.  In the World Press Freedom Day to be celebrated on 3rd May,1998

UNESCO’s Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize will be awarded  It is expected that all members states would make a special effort to celebrate the occasion which marks the fiftieth anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  UNESCO’s sub-programme on “Media and freedom of expression” during 1998-99 focused on the following lines of action-

(1) freedom of expression and freedom of the press (2) Promoting independent and pluralistic media (3) The educational and cultural mission of public service broadcasting, violence on the screen and (4) To enhance the role of women in the media To have “access to information and new technologies” a project on Ethical and

Sociocultural Challenges of the New Information Society is planned and implemented jointly by

sectors of Communication, information and informatics, Culture and Education.  This inter-sectoral project is aimed at strengthening UNESCO’s role as a forum of reflection and clearing house on the impact of new information and technologies  UNESCO is also committed to capacity building in Communication, information and informatics to help member states, particularly the developing countries and disadvantaged

communities world-wide to strengthen their capacities in communication, information and informatics. The main lines of action for this are(1) assistance to project for the development of communication (2) training of communication professionals (3) development of community media UNESCO also continue to support the development of library and information service at the national and regional levels.

(1) Development of library and information services  (2) Restoration of world libraries  (3) Upgrading of archival services

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