The twenty-fifth meeting of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme (IFAP) was held in Paris on Friday 26th February. The event brought together 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 during the Bureau’s 2-year term, to explore in-depth activities for further strengthening the Programme’s visibility and fundraising as well as to discuss projects and activities to be carried out in 2016. The Bureau meeting also contributed to the preparation of the 9th session of the IFAP Council that will be held on 30 and 31 May, 2016 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. He congratulated the Bureau on the many achievements realized under IFAP during their term and drew particular attention to the international conference “Youth and the Internet: Fighting Radicalization and Extremism”, initiated by IFAP and organized at UNESCO on 16-17 June, 2015. This landmark conference brought together participants from some 70 countries to share policy intervention experiences, initiatives and processes for promoting the use of the Internet as a tool for peace and to counter youth extremism and radicalization. The conference also served as a platform for UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, to launch the new UNESCO Framework for Action “Empowering Youth to Build Peace: Youth 2.0 - Building Skills, Bolstering Peace”.
IFAP’s Activities undertaken over the last two years have directly benefitted policy-makers and information professionals in every region with special attention being directed to the needs of Africa and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). In this regard a number of capacity-building events were organized in the Dominican Republic, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and St. Kitts-Nevis benefitting policy-makers in more than 35 countries.
“Furthermore, to align IFAP’s work with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals we have been participating in various expert groups and supporting alignment between the WSIS and the SDGs. As part of this effort, the IFAP National Information Society Policy Template, adopted by Member States as a policy tool to support the design, implementation and review of their national information policy frameworks and strategies is being updated in concert with the United Nations University (UNU-EGOV)”, explained Ms. Chafica Haddad, Deputy-Permanent Delegate of Grenada and Chair of the IFAP Council and Bureau.
The outgoing Bureau is composed of Member States’ representatives from Austria, Botswana, Grenada, Indonesia, Israel, Oman, Peru and Russian Federation. At the 9th 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.