Many participants underlined the positive impact of the Internet on freedom of expression and democratic participation, especially in light of recent events in Turkey.
Although online media have provided many opportunities for users to engage in discussions, many participants expressed concerns that users’ comments may constitute hate speech and jeopardize open and tolerant debates. The roundtable focused on the implications of user-generated hate speech for media organizations trying to abide by principles of ethical journalism.
Journalists at the event gave examples of incidents in which they had been subject to abuse online, including death threats, when reporting on controversial issues. These discussions highlighted the importance of distinguishing where content is protected by international standards.
“The right to freedom of expression clearly protects offensive, shocking and disturbing speech – online and offline,” said Andrew Smith, Legal Officer at ARTICLE 19. “Laws on hate speech are often vague and abused to unduly restrict legitimate speech. Experience shows that self-regulation is crucial for promoting tolerance and non-discrimination, whereas censorship of contentious views has the opposite effect.”
Several participants stressed that reliance on the criminal justice system to tackle hatred is not the answer, but that instead education and awareness-raising is key to advancing tolerance and equality in online discussions.
This event took place in the framework of the EU-UNESCO project “Media Accountability in South East Europe”, which started in January 2013.
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.
Regional Latin American and Caribbean Consultation on Open Access to Scientific Information and Research
More than 50 experts and policy specialists from 24 different countries (Argentine, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Grenada, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Suriname, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Uruguay and Venezuela) participated in the Consultation.
Valuable inputs were provided by Julian Robinson, Minister of state for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Jamaica; Lisa Hanna, Minister of Youth and Culture, Jamaica; Sandrea Falconer, Minister for Information, Jamaica; and Koji Tomita, Charge d’Affaires ad interim, Embassy of Japan for Jamaica, Bahamas and Belize. Interventions were also made by Arun Kashyap, UNCT coordinator, Jamaica, and Evert Hannam, Secretary General of the Jamaican National Commission for UNESCO. The Consultation was made possible with the generous grant from the Government of Japan (JFIT).
The main objective of the Regional Consultation was to share how free and unrestricted access to research and scholarly communication can increase the impact of research and benefit research institutions, authors, journal publishers and the society as a whole.
The Consultation examined how the context of Open Access in the region can add to the productivity, visibility and accessibility of research and research outcomes. The Consultation deliberated on modalities for developing mechanisms, mandates, and policy frameworks that surround Open Access.
It provided an opportunity for reflecting upon case studies and examples of how Open Access has influenced teaching, research and development in the region.
Participants also reviewed the UNESCO Open Access policy templates and developed a work plan for implementing Open Access activities in the region. They also had an opportunity to contribute towards identifying priority areas for intervention to achieve “Openness” in the region and in individual countries.
Among others, the Regional Consultation on Open Access achieved the following results:
- National stakeholders were enabled to specify trends and emerging challenges, related to the impact of open access on scientific information acquisition and sharing.
- Barriers or support mechanisms for Open Access policy adoption were identified.
- Context and the utility of Open Access policy and regional specificities were analyzed.
- Specific technology generated trends and their consequences for development of scientific information and research sharing were better understood.
- Collaborative efforts behind the Open Access movement were discussed, and their policy implications were evaluated and appreciated.
- Best practices of Open Access initiatives from the region and beyond were shared.
Specific recommendations of the Consultation have been sent to the respective National Commissions for UNESCO, Permanent Delegations to UNESCO and key organizations for follow-up actions.
Four six-day training sessions will take place in the cities of Gafsa, Sbeïtla, Bizerte and Sidi Bouzid during June and July 2013. Two days will be dedicated to joint sessions for members of security forces and journalists working in these governorates. In total, 90 officers from the police, the National Guard and the Emergency Preparedness, as well as about 30 journalists will attend the training.
The upcoming training, which will include presentations of international and national freedom of expression standards, and practical exercises on communication with media, will be provided by trainers from UNESCO and the Ministry of Interior.
The partners of the project, the National Union of Tunisian Journalists and the Tunisian Centre for Freedom of the Press, will facilitate the participation of journalists in this training activity.
This cooperation programme, which is being implemented in the framework of the support to the institutional reforms initiated by the United Nations system, aims to accompany the restructuring of the security institution and the transition towards democracy in Tunisia. It has received financial support from the Netherlands.
UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. To realize this, the Organization strives to advance the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples through all means of mass communication.
Journalists from Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela trained to report on drug trafficking and organized crime
The workshop covered topics such as the handling of confidential sources and information, in order to reveal the facts without putting others’ safety at risk.
As a result of the workshop, six investigative reports relating to drug trafficking and organized crime were produced by the participants, some of which were published by major Colombian media outlets including Semana magazine and La Verdad newspaper, as well as being posted on the Cosecha Roja Network.
This IPDC project was coordinated by UNESCO’s Office in Quito in collaboration with the Foundation for a New Journalism (FNPI), and falls under the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the issue of Impunity.
The workshop was conducted by a selection of Colombian experts including: Álvaro Sierra, a journalist skilled on the coverage of drugs and conflicts; Francisco Thoumi, a professional on international narcotics control; and Socorro Ramirez, a specialist on Colombia’s border studies.
Among the international participants who attended the workshop as trainers were Simone Bruno, an Italian journalist who chairs the International Press Association of Colombia; Donna Césare, a photojournalist from the USA known for her work on the coverage of gangs, victims of abuse and HIV stigma; and the Argentinian Cristian Alarcon, Director of Coseha Roja Network.
A full summary of the contents and recommendations which emerged can be downloaded from the FNPI webpage and Cosecha Roja network, via the following links:
Among the activities carried out was a workshop to train 17 journalists from Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela in investigative journalism and self-protection mechanisms. As a result of this workshop, reports about drug trafficking were published in two of the most major media outlets in Colombia: Semana magazine and La Verdad newspaper. Four reports were also posted on Cosecha Roja network.
In Peru, a separate project saw more than 70 women communicators from 20 different regions receive training in ICT, radio and gender in order to reinforce community media in the country. Along the same lines, Afro-Bolivian grassroots communicators from the Los Yungas area of La Paz were trained in communication and democracy, computing, radio and digital journalism.
Project activities also focused on unions and media owners, with a guide about self-regulation and gender coverage currently being developed, and which will be put into practice in some of the biggest media outlets in Ecuador.
Regarding journalism education – one of the IPDC’s priority areas – project support is helping over 30 professors of masters-level programmes in the Andean Region to access training in subjects that include: On-line/Multimedia Journalism, Media Legislation and Journalism Ethics. Some of the courses from UNESCO’s Model Curricula on Journalism Education specifically aimed at community communicators have also recently been adopted by the Bolivarian University in Venezuela.
Niśvāsattatvasaṃhitā and Susrutasamhita: Two Nepali manuscripts for UNESCO’s Memory of World Register
Participants of roundtable in Pristina call for improved media accountability to tackle online hate speech
Nehat Islami, Executive Director of the Kosovo Press Council, started by declaring that “the increased penetration of the Internet in Kosovo has presented a new challenge for media, which still have not found sustainable ways to address offensive comments or hate speech spread by Internet users.”
Hate speech in online media in Kosovo is mostly generated by media users rather than by journalists themselves. Media generally do not hold themselves responsible for comments published on their online edition.
Ibrahim Berisha, Chairman of the Kosovo Press Council, explained how the Press Council has recently taken a proactive approach towards the rapid increase of news portals, and towards the publication and non-filtering of inflammatory readers’ comments.
“[The Council] has, on its own initiative, drafted and adopted Guidelines for Online Journalism, which specifically require editorial boards to monitor their news portals and filter content that incite hate or provoke criminal offences,” said Mr Berisha.
He also underlined that “the Press Council has managed to adjudicate on a few complaints against online media publishing stories containing hate speech.”
Participants pointed out that such constructive initiatives should, however, be coupled with more media and information literacy. A critical understanding of the functions of media, and their contribution to social inclusion and combating of prejudices and cultural stereotypes is essential for promoting peace and mutual respect.
The roundtable was opened by Stojan Pelko, European Union Special Representative Office Spokesperson; Nehat Islami, Executive Director of Kosovo* Press Council; and Adeline Hulin, consultant from UNESCO.
The event took place in the framework of the EU-UNESCO project: “Media Accountability in South East Europe”, which started in January 2013. The roundtable is the third in a series of local events in the region.
* which is administered by the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), should be understood in the context of the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).
According to Macedonian media experts, the digitalization process and the online environment increasingly trigger the need for better media professionalism. Peter Saracini, programme manager of the Macedonian Institute for Media, said that “the professional standards of journalists need to be further strengthened in the country following the digital transformation of media and the lack of proper education or training among media professionals at all levels.”
In this context, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia initiated in 2010 the establishment of a Council of Ethics for Media, a tripartite self-regulatory body composed of representatives of editors and journalists, media owners and representatives of civil society in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Throughout 2012, this association held consultations with a number of editors and media owners, as well as with its own members, about the importance of self-regulation and the variety of models that could be applied in the country.
“These discussions are pioneering steps for media self-regulation in the country,” said Tamara Grncarovska, member of the managing board of the Journalists Association of Macedonia. “We hope that a press council will soon be established and will include online media.”
In addition to media self-regulation, the roundtable participants discussed the extent and nature of hate speech in online media in the country and how it can be addressed by media accountability mechanisms.
The event took place in the framework of the EU-UNESCO project, Media Accountability in South East Europe, which started in January 2013.
The objective is to reinforce professional capacities of Algerian media to produce media content that goes deeper than a male-centric and stereotypical perspective and which can act as a catalyst for gender-equality.
The programme commences with a training workshop addressed to print media journalists. Twenty professionals from Algerian newspapers and magazines will benefit from this session, which will take place from 10 to 12 June 2013 at the Algerian Institute of Advanced Financial Studies.
This is followed by workshops for 40 practitioners from the Algerian PSB, held at the Algerian PSB premises. The training for TV professionals will take place from 17 to 20 June 2013, and the one addressed to radio practitioners from 23 to 25 June 2013.
The United Nations system is strongly committed to women’s empowerment and the recognition of their crucial role as key agents for economic, cultural and political development. Gender equality is a particular priority for UNESCO and its Programme for the Improvement of the Image of Women in the Maghreb Media.
The initiative aims to make a real change regarding women’s image and portrayal disseminated by the Maghreb media. It encourages all media professionals and managers, media training centres, regulatory bodies, political institutions and civil society activists to think about women’s representations and portrayals.
It seeks to transcend gender-based stereotypes, which contribute to the denial of women’s empowerment and rights across the region.
New UNESCO guidelines, titled Women and Print Press in the Maghreb – Improvement of Women’s Representation in the Maghreb Media will be launched during the training workshops in Algeria.
This toolkit, prepared by the UNESCO Office in Rabat, aims to encourage journalists from the Maghreb countries to think about the portrayal of women in the media, including online media, and to adopt professional habits that enable a balanced representation of both women and men.
In line with current international standards, UNESCO has compiled a large set of indicators related to a number of areas relevant for public service broadcasters, such as transparency of information, use of public resources, diversity in broadcast stations, interest in new languages and platforms, and others. With this new set of indicators, UNESCO attempts to provide a dynamic tool that would allow the concerned stakeholders, as well as society in general, to regularly participate in the evaluation of the services provided by public service broadcasters.
As a next step, UNESCO plans to invite managers and directors from Latin American public broadcasters to discuss the publication and to promote its working methodology. This would provide support to the transparent management policies and to strengthen the control exercised by citizens in the management of social communication of public institutions.
Under the umbrella of democratic values, public broadcasters should keep the public informed to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights. Furthermore, public services are also required to give explanations to multiple stakeholders. For this, it is imperative to promote indicators that encourage transparent administration and quality programming, which can be assessed by the community the programme is targeted at, in terms of valued patterns.
The publication is available online for download:
- Indicadores de calidad de las emisoras públicas - evaluación contemporánea (Serie Debates CI No 10, Junio de 2012)
A series of workshops was launched in the framework of the project in three rural target communities of Preah Vihear, Mondulkiri and Ratankiri. The three-day workshop, which was successfully conducted from 22 to 26 November 2012, encouraged participants to express their thoughts and to report on human rights within the Cambodian media context. Since then, 60 community members, including human rights and youth activists, have been trained on citizen journalism, and on how to write stories, reports and to use new media tools such as social media and email box. Newly trained citizen journalists will now form and operate a Community Information Committee to produce radio news. The aim is to produce five news reports per month to broadcast through community radio stations.
The project aims at supporting marginalized and ethnic communities to express their views and promoting community participation. Most of the beneficiaries of the project had been under the assumption that they clearly understood freedom of expression, but they realized that they only had limited notion of the idea. They now express their interest in learning more about this topic. Some of them said that, although they would like to write a news report, they are concerned about their security. The fear has affected a number of participants.
Media is one of the most powerful way to communicate because “it helps to solve community problems” and to “promote freedom of expression,” state the beneficiaries of the project, who have been very active and collaborative. Almost all of the community members are interested in learning how to be a citizen journalist. Promoting freedom of expression requires media pluralism. Building the media capacities of local communities in Cambodia was one step towards empowering them to advocate for their right to freedom of expression and opening new spaces where to make their voices heard.
The Cambodia Center for Independent Media produces radio materials such as Voice of Democracy broadcast via Radio Sarika to 8,480,000 people. It will continue to assist citizen journalists to produce news materials for broadcast on Sarika FM 106.5, FM 95.5 and through the network of community radio stations participating in this project.
UNESCO, with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), is executing a three-year project entitled “Empowering local radios with ICTs” in 32 radio stations located in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.
The project intends to increase the quality of local radio programming and broadcasting by fully integrating the use of ICTs, strengthening local reporting on development issues and engaging poor people’s participation in debates related to their livelihood and development.
A mid-term evaluation has been planned in order to demonstrate achievements realised between the start of project’s full implementation (15 March 2012) and 15 July 2013, and to make suggestions for the following period. More particularly, the evaluation report aims to:
- enhance the project’s relevance, efficiency and effectiveness;
- suggest improvements for the following stage of implementation and project replication;
- demonstrate the project’s achievements, challenges and lessons learned;
- Generate findings regarding the effectiveness of trainings in local radios and its effects on community, especially women and girls;
- indicate any risks that may compromise the successful implementation of the project and suggest actions to overcome it.
The evaluation is expected to start on 15 July 2013. The final report must be delivered by 31 October 2013.
UNESCO invites interested external independent entities and individual evaluators to submit their proposals, according to the Terms of Reference, by email to Jonathas Mello on or before 24 June 2013, 9 a.m. (Paris time). Proposals must consist of the following:
- description of the research methodology (including strategy to achieve an assessment per country);
- competitive fee in US dollars;
- company description (if applicable); and
- relevant examples of previous work.
The evaluator should comply with the following requirements: extensive knowledge of, and minimum five years’ experience, in applying qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods; proven record in designing and leading evaluations; a minimum of ten years’ experience in project evaluation at international level.
Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted by UNESCO.
The project has been supported by the MDG-Fund and developed in the aftermath of major food safety incidents, such as the poisoning of milk infant formula adulterated with melamine, which reportedly caused 54,000 children sick (source: WHO).
An assessment has shown that in the months following the reporters’ training, the coverage of food safety and security issues by the targeted provincial radio and television outlets in the pilot counties has increased by 49 per cent. Journalists involved said that they have not only acquired more awareness and background knowledge on food-related issues, but also increased their professional ability to verify, investigate and double-check facts and sources. Some of the beneficiaries of the project express their opinions in the reportage “Travelling to the Huize and Wuding Counties”.
The project’s component targeting media professionals has been implemented in the past two years by the UNESCO Beijing Office, together with the Training Centre of State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). The training handbook, Professional Reporting on Food Safety and Child Nutrition Issues in China, has been presented last April at the project’s final wrap-up event, which was attended by more than two hundred representatives from United Nations (UN), national and local partners.
During this final event, the Vice Minister of Health and Family Planning, Mr Chen Xiaohong, said that the Chinese authorities recognize that food safety and security are serious challenges, and welcome international cooperation and technical assistance to support policies in this field. The UN Resident Coordinator in China, Ms Renata Dessalien, stressed that food security and safety are complex sustainable development issues, which are not only linked with the health and wellbeing of all individuals, but also relate to environment, industry, employment, water and land resources, as well as to other areas. “Resolving food safety and security is an absolutely essential element of sustainable development, which requires cross-ministerial and cross-thematic collaboration,” she said.
UNESCO has joined other seven UN agencies and ten Chinese national agencies in the implementation of this project aiming at improving nutrition, food safety and food security in six of China’s poorest counties: Pan and Zheng’an (Guizhou Province); Huize and Wuding (Yunnan Province); Luonan and Zhen’an (Shaanxi Province). Activities by the UN Country Team in China have ranged from contributing to the legal framework for food safety, to the promotion of good practices in increasing food safety and nutrition in schools, hospitals, and increasing the quality standards of food producing industries. For more details, watch the multimedia presentation, “Eat Well, Grow Well”, and read the article on the UNESCO Beijing Offcie website.
Online hate speech has become a major issue for news portals in Montenegro and prompted intense debates among the country’s media professionals. While the Internet has extended the capacities for communication, it has also more and more been used for spreading hate speech.
Journalists and editors from online media portals were invited to discuss their strategies to handle the increasing amount of online users’ comments. The effectiveness and impact on freedom of expression of measures such as user registration and pre-moderation of comments were put under the scrutiny of the audience. The need for more education of civil society about hate speech was particularly underscored.
The risks of increased regulation of the Internet were also underlined. Professional and ethical journalism were presented as solutions to tackle hate speech in online media, in particular through media accountability mechanisms such as codes of ethics and press councils.
In this respect, recommendations emphasized the need for the code of ethics of Montenegro to adapt to the digital environment and modify its guidelines to include online media. The merits of a single self-regulatory body for the country that would represent the whole media community were also highlighted.
The event gathered around 30 participants, including media professionals from offline and online media of the country, representatives of media self-regulatory bodies, ombudsmen, representatives of international organizations and representatives of civil society.
This event took place in the framework of the EU-UNESCO project, “Media Accountability in South East Europe”, which started in January 2013.
UNESCO supports conference of Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives
Speaking at the press conference of the event, Dr Hassan Wario Arero, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts, stated that the regional conference was of great social, cultural and political benefit to Kenya and ESARBICA member countries in their undertaking to promote, protect, preserve and use documentary heritage. He thanked the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa for making it possible for the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service (KNADS) to host the regional conference in Nairobi for the second time since 1969.
The XXII ESARBICA Conference will discuss papers treating various aspects of the technological paradigm shift in archival world and emerging issues on digital management and preservation. In discussing these topics, participants will also consider how the Southern and Eastern Africa Region can participate in the implementation of the UNESCO/UBC Vancouver Declaration on Digitization and Preservation which was adopted in September 2012.
Some of the themes that will be discussed in the parallel sessions at the Conference include integrated records and archives management programmes; the role of archives in preserving nation’s heritage; and emerging technologies in information and knowledge management. A pre-conference workshop (from 3 to 4 June 2013) also looks at disaster management of archives.
ESARBICA is a professional regional body that brings together fourteen national archival institutions in Eastern and Southern Africa on matters of archives and records management. Current efforts are underway to bring Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan to the ESARBICA community.
UNESCO’s Regional Office for Eastern Africa is taking part in this biennial event as part of its efforts to assist Member States to better protect and digitize documentary heritage, and reinforce the capacities of archives and libraries to serve as centres of education, learning and information exchange.
In May 2011 the Human Rights documentary heritage of the Republic of Korea on the 1980 Archives for the May 18th Democratic Uprising against Military Regime, was inscribed on the Memory of the World International Register.
The events, which took place in Gwangju between 18 and 27 May 1980, after a second military coup in the country, led to a 10-day resistance, during which 165 citizens died in and around Gwangju. 76 people went missing, 3,383 were injured, and 1,476 were arrested, affecting 5,100 in total. In addition, 102 additional people later died due to injuries incurred. Survivors were far from unscathed with many reporting mental health problems. The physical and emotional trauma left an indelible mark on those who experienced the events first-hand.
For years the military government enforced a strict prohibition on public discussion of the traumatic events of May 1980. However, the consequent efforts of the bereaved families triggered a large scale democratic struggle that culminated in the citizens of Korea being awarded a direct vote, and the “Gwangju Riot” being officially renamed “the May 18th Democratic Uprising” by the then President. In 1995 a special law pertaining to the punishment of the perpetrators was enacted by the National Assembly. Around the same time, legal action was initiated against two former presidents and the senior staff responsible for the brutal suppression (sentencing of the Supreme Court, occurred in April 1997). Participants of the uprising were subsequently found not guilty and the victims received compensation for their losses. Today, May 18th is a national holiday in Korea.
The items inscribed on the MoW Register include administrative documents of the central government as well as records of investigation and trials by military judicial institutes; statements, declarations, hand-written posters and reporters' notebooks that reveal the seriousness of the situation; and documents produced by the National Assembly and Supreme Court aimed at restoring the reputation of the people and discovering the truth about the incidents.
More than 30 years after the May 18th Democratic Uprising in Gwangju, the city and its citizens as well as the people of Korea are eager to proclaim the universality of the lessons learnt from their history in the spirit of promoting the importance of democracy and respect of human rights worldwide. In this context, the City has proposed to promote the preservation of human rights records.
Consequently, from 15 to 18 May 2013, an international conference was organized in Gwangju, with the generous support of the Gwangju Metropolitan City and the Committee for the Establishment of the 5.18 Archive. This Conference, which was part of the 2013 World Human Rights Cities Forum, commemorated inscriptions of 14 institutions holding items on the MoW register relating to human rights. Representatives from all regions described the particular problems and solutions needed to protect and manage such collections. Items related to human rights violations or uprisings were presented by Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Poland, Philippines, Poland and Uruguay.
Some collections were related to examples of peaceful change in human rights conditions. These concerned the Human Chain of the Baltic Way submitted by Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania; the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition from New Zealand; and the Original Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789, 1791) from France.
Participants stressed the importance of ensuring continuous recognition of the value and significance of human rights records. They focused on raising public awareness of the significance of preserving human rights records as the foundations to peace and democracy and urged all holders of such records to share and promote their accessibility for current and future generations. They also underlined the importance of using those records for educational purposes in the aim of perpetuating the messages and lessons learnt, so that humankind does not see any more of those alarming events repeated.
They also explored possible ways of collaboration among institutions by establishing a network that will work towards enhancing cooperation to preserve, share, encourage research, raise awareness of, and identify other human rights records. Finally, they agreed to strive to make human rights records accessible to all people in the world by supporting the creation of exhibitions and other means of publication.
UNESCO, under the auspices of the Memory of the World Programme, was requested to further explore the issues dealt with in the meeting: preservation, promotion, utilization, acquisition and registration of human rights records.
The full text of the Gwangju Declaration is available online: please click here.
On 23 September 2013 the UN General Assembly will hold the High Level Meeting on Disabilities and Development (HLMDD). Looking into contributing to this meeting, ITU and UNESCO, together with G3ICT, IDA, Telecentre.org, the Broadband Commission and Microsoft have launched a global consultation to capture recommendations from all stakeholders on the contribution that information and communications technologies (ICT) can help to achieve the autonomous participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.
The objective of this consultation is to raise awareness on the benefits of ICT for disability-inclusive development efforts, identify remaining barriers, and propose concrete measures and policies to achieve inclusive development. The outcomes of this global consultation will be used for the preparation of a joint synthesis document as a contribution to the High Level Meeting on Disabilities and Development (HLMDD) in September 2013.
This initiative is a good opportunity for all partners involved to share their experiences, views, and recommendations on how the use of ICTs is facilitating the work with persons with disabilities. The consultation is open from 20 May to 10 June 2013 on this page. The survey is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese.
UNESCO invites all interested parties to contribute to the consultation by filling in the survey by 10 June 2013 and by sharing this information within their networks.