Universal Access to Information in Cyberspace for Empowerment of Indigenous Peoples

When, local time: 
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 -
1:00pm to 2:30pm
Where: 
United States of America, New York
Type of Event: 
Category 7-Seminar and Workshop
Contact: 
Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg (Email: i.kasinskaite@unesco.org)

The side event, scheduled during the 15th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 2016, and organized jointly by UNESCO and other international, regional and national partners, will address a wide range of issues on digital empowerment of indigenous communities through ensured universal access to information and knowledge in cyberspace within three thematic areas: (i) promotion of indigenous languages in cyberspace; (ii) digital preservation of documentary heritage of indigenous communities; and (iii) ethical dimensions of making information and documentary heritage of indigenous communities accessible to all.
Universal access to information is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression and considered to be crucial for development, democracy, equity and delivery of public goods to all citizens. Despite the fundamental importance in the facilitation of all other rights, there are still many communities around the world, including indigenous, which are not able to access information in their languages, their exceptionally diverse documentary heritage is often documented, preserved and shared without taking into consideration their views and interests as rights-holders as well as ignoring key principles of information ethics and interoperability. This results in preventing those communities from growing any larger, accessing equal opportunities and realizing their full potential. Universal access to information including in cyberspace should be considered as a part of sustainable development plans and linked to the empowerment of indigenous communities.
The side event, organized jointly by UNESCO and other international, regional and national partners, will address a wide range of issues on digital empowerment of indigenous communities through ensured universal access to information and knowledge in cyberspace within three thematic areas: (i) promotion of indigenous languages in cyberspace; (ii) digital preservation of documentary heritage of indigenous communities; and (iii) ethical dimensions of making information and documentary heritage of indigenous communities accessible to all.
Speakers of this side event will share concrete examples on how universal access to information and knowledge in cyberspace contributes to the digital empowerment of indigenous communities. Reference will be made to the implementation of the UNESCO’s normative instrument “Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace” (2003) and a global initiative “World Atlas of Languages”. The outcomes of the Regional Conference for Central America “Multilingualism in cyberspace: Indigenous Languages for Empowerment” which took place from 27-28 November 2015 in San Jose, Costa Rica, will be also presented with an aim to form new partnerships among all interested parties, encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange of good practices.
This 90-minute side event at the Forum will also include a question-and-answer segment providing opportunity for the audience to react and exchange views with speakers.