The twenty-second meeting of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme (IFAP) was held in Paris on Monday 10th February. The event brought together all Member States elected to the Bureau as well as observers from various Member State Permanent Delegations.
The meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on the progress made in implementing the IFAP Strategic Plan during the Bureau’s 2-year term. The event also provided an opportunity to review the new strategic vision document, under preparation, that will serve to shape IFAP’s future actions. The Bureau meeting also facilitated the preparation of the forthcoming 8th session of the IFAP Council that will be held 19-20 May, 2014 at UNESCO’s Headquarters.
The meeting was opened by Mr Getachew Engida, UNESCO’s Deputy Director General with responsibility for the Communication and Information Sector, who commended the Bureau on the many achievements, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean, that were realized under IFAP during their term. He also drew particular attention to the “IFAP Special Event: Information and Knowledge for All, emerging trends and Challenges”, organized at UNESCO in February 2013 during the first WSIS +10 Review Event. This major gathering he said, “epitomized and showcased IFAP’s added value in bringing together diverse stakeholders to share experiences and knowledge and to support its adaptation and application to specific regional and national contexts”.
Activities undertaken over the last two years have directly benefitted policy-makers and information professionals in every region from Oman to Jamaica, from Uganda to Latvia and from Suriname to Korea through their participation in conferences, debates and capacity-building events where they have received support in developing national policy implementation roadmaps and various other activities.
“The new IFAP vision document under preparation is based on the declarations and outcomes of major IFAP international and regional events held over the past 2 years as well as the experiences of IFAP network members. It is our hope that these contribution could be considered in the context of the preparations of the WSIS+10 and the Post-2015 Development Agendas”, explained Mr Evgeny Kuzmin of the Russian Federation and Chair of the IFAP Council and Bureau.
The outgoing Bureau is composed of Member States’ representatives from Austria, Colombia, Grenada, Latvia, Oman, Russian Federation, The Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania. At the 8th IFAP Council meeting a new Bureau will be elected to manage the implementation of IFAP over the next two years.
The intergovernmental Information for All Programme was established in 2001. It provides a platform for international policy discussions, cooperation and the development of guidelines for action in the area of access to information and knowledge. The Programme supports Member States to develop and implement national information policy and strategy frameworks in the areas of information accessibility, information for development, information ethics, information literacy, information preservation and multilingualism