Wednesday, April 23, 2008

UNESCO shifts IFAP strategic plan to Sept-08

Participants to the 179th session of United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO’s) executive board, which ended last week in Paris, have postponed the decision on the item concerning the strategic plan of the Information for All Programme (IFAP) to its next session billed for September this year.

A press statement from IFAP stated that the request to prepare a new results-based strategic plan for IFAP was formulated by the Executive Board at its 177th session in September 2007.

The planning process began the same year at the 13th meeting of IFAP Bureau, followed by an online discussion and the circulation of the draft document to all IFAP stakeholders.

However, the plan was finalised and presented to the 5th session of the IFAP council which held early this month, which endorsed the content covering the period 2008 through 2013, which aims at “helping member states to develop and implement national information policies in a world increasingly using and communication technologies.”

The board equally decided to postpone the consideration of the item to its 180th session in September 2008 and requested the Director-General to submit a revised plan for approval.

Champion Infotel recalls that IFAP is the only intergovernmental programme exclusively dedicated to promoting universal access to information and knowledge for development. This is a key plank in building knowledge societies.

The uniqueness of this mandate and its intergovernmental nature invest the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme with the authority to speak on strategic priorities, lobby and create awareness about issues pertaining to the use of information and ICT for development at the international level.

IFAP was created in year 2000 to facilitate governments’ of the world pledge to harness the new opportunities of the information age to create equitable societies through better access to information.

The council notes that the last decade witnessed technological development at a scale and speed unprecedented in the history of mankind, but the challenges facing the world remain to ensure equitable access for all people to seize these new opportunities.

UNESCO believes that information is central to development and as such its essential for survival and sustainability as well as acting as the pathway to understanding and peace, thus, IFAP is UNESCO’s response to the challenges and opportunities of the Information Society.

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