UNESCO’s media development council has elected a new Chair for the next two years, Ms Albana Shala (The Netherlands), an expert with more than 15 years of experience in the independent media development field. Ms Shala is currently the Programme Coordinator at Free Press Unlimited, a Dutch organization supporting independent media in more than 40 countries.
The Council of the International Programme for Development of Communication (IPDC) also elected a woman Rapporteur, Ms Diana Heymann-Adu (Ghana), a senior lecturer from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
Council members also nominated Algeria, Bangladesh and Peru for the three IPDC Bureau Vice-Chair positions, as well as Denmark, Niger and Poland for the three Bureau regular membership seats.
The changes were made at the 29th IPDC Council session on 20 November at UNESCO HQ (Paris, France). The Member States of the Council thanked the outgoing Chair, Mr Jyrki Pulkkinen (Finland), who led the IPDC for the last two years, for his commitment to the Programme and his successful chairmanship.
IPDC was set up in 1980 as the only intergovernmental programme in the UN system mandated to mobilize international support in order to contribute to sustainable development, democracy and good governance by strengthening the capacities of free and independent media. Since its creation, IPDC has channeled about US$ 105 million to over 1,700 media development projects in some 140 countries.
IPDC’s Council is composed of 39 Member States elected by UNESCO’s General Conference. It meets once every two years to reflect on the latest trends in the media development field and give direction to the Programme. The Bureau of eight Member States meets once a year and allocates support to grassroots media projects around the world.