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Ethical aspects of the information society to be discussed in Riga next October

The Global Meeting of Experts on the Ethical Aspects of Information Society will take place in Riga (Latvia) from 16 to 17 October 2013. Leading experts from around the world will gather together to discuss issues related to new disparities in the development of knowledge society, respect for freedom of expression on the Internet, and the creation of a fair and multicultural information society.

Changes brought about by the rapid development of information and communication technologies (ICT) not only open tremendous opportunities to humankind but also pose unprecedented ethical challenges. Ensuring that information society is based upon principles of mutual respect and the observance of human rights is one of the major ethical challenges of the 21st century.

The upcoming Global Meeting of Experts in Riga is the next step in an on-going effort of UNESCO’s Information for All Programme (IFAP) to raise awareness of, and reflect upon, societal and ethical challenges related to the use of ICT. Building on conclusions from the previous debates, the meeting aims to review the progress made by UNESCO and IFAP in the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Action Line C10 “Ethical dimensions of the information society”, and to prepare guidelines for appropriate actions by Member States.

The meeting is jointly organized by UNESCO’s Information for All Programme (IFAP), the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO. The organizers expect that it will raise further awareness about the role of technology in social transformations.

Representatives of the IFAP Council, the IFAP Information Ethics Working Group, National IFAP Committees, UNESCO partner organizations and other stakeholders are invited to attend the meeting. Participants should register by filling in the registration form and sending it by email to the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO before 1 August 2013.

The organizing committee calls upon Governments to support the participation of their national experts in order for the broadest expertise to be present at the Global Meeting. However, the cost of participation for a limited number of representatives from Africa and the Caribbean will be covered by the organizers of the meeting. In order to apply for such assistance the application form should be sent to the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO before 1 July 2013.