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The OA curricula developed by UNESCO includes a set of customized modules which can be easily be fitted with the educational needs of different OA stakeholders and can be integrated with any sensitization programmes of OA.
The curricula for Library and Information Science Professionals entitled “Open Access for Library Schools”, consists of four course modules. An Introductory Module aims at sensitizing the library community about the history, evolution, forms and impact of OA within the domain of scholarly communication environment and covers issues related to rights management, IPR and advocacy. The remaining three modules cover subject areas of OA Infrastructure, Resource Optimization and Interoperability and Retrieval. These sections give insights into the features, types, maintenance and standardization of OA resources, information retrieval/storage software and highlight the role of the new dimension of web-enabled resources such as e-journals, e-repositories and ICTSs.
The curricula for researchers entitled “Open Access for Researchers” addresses OA issues within the community of research scholars. The modules cover the subject areas of Scholarly Communications, Concepts of Openness and Open Access, Intellectual Property Rights and Research Evaluation Metrics. The first four modules have been developed to nurture researchers with an elaborate understanding of the genesis, objectives, processes, types and existing limitations of OA scholarly communication, which include insights into the issues related to IPR, the methods and limitations of the process of peer reviewing and the concepts and roles of E-journals, databases, ICTs, OSS and other OERs. The final and fifth Module entitled “Sharing your Work in Open Access” provides a step-wise guideline for researchers about the process and options available for publishing their research work.
These curricula were developed after undertaking two detailed capacity building need assessment studies of librarians and researchers on Open Access. A multi-stakeholder expert meeting was organized in New Delhi, where 23 experts participated to finalize the curriculum. Two online consultations were also held to substantiate the expert meeting, which helped UNESCO to outline the content for each of the curriculum and provided a framework to develop modules.
The curricula were developed with the help of Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), New Delhi of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).
The curricula will soon be available for download. Currently, copies can be requested by writing to UNESCO’s OA programme.
Les acteurs du secteur des médias rassemblés pour les premiers Etats Généraux des Médias et de la Communication à Madagascar
La réunion a été organisée pour mettre l’accent sur le rôle important du secteur des médias dans le développement de Madagascar. Placé sous le haut patronage du Président de la République et le parrainage du Premier Ministre, l’événement est le fruit d’une collaboration entre le Ministère de la Communication, de l'Information et des Relations avec les Institutions (MCIRI) et le Système des Nations Unies, en particulier le CINU, l’OHCHR, le PNUD et l’UNESCO. Le représentant du Système des Nations Unies, Jaco du Toit, conseiller régional de l’UNESCO en communication et information pour l’Afrique de l’Est, a réitéré dans son discours la volonté du système onusien de travailler en étroite coopération avec le gouvernement, les journalistes et les professionnels des médias ainsi que les groupes de la société civile pour bâtir des sociétés du savoir.
La première journée a été consacrée à la restitution du projet de rapport sur l’évaluation du paysage médiatique malgache réalisée par l’UNESCO en partenariat avec le Département Interdisciplinaire de Formation Professionnelle de la Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines de l'Université d’Antanarivo. L’étude, qui est basée sur les Indicateurs de développement des médias (IDM) de l’UNESCO, dans 9 sites majeurs à Madagascar. Un comité consultatif comprenant des représentants de la presse écrite, les medias audiovisuels, la société civile, les institutions de formations ainsi que le gouvernement a apporté des conseils à l’équipe de recherche tout au long du processus. Les recommandations du rapport portent sur le cadre juridique et réglementaire, le système de régulation de l’audiovisuel, les médias en tant que plateforme pour un débat démocratique, la formation professionnelle, le syndicalisme et la société civile, et les capacités infrastructurelles.
Lors de la deuxième journée des Etats Généraux, l’accent a été mis sur l’un des instruments clés du secteur, à savoir l’avant-projet du Code de la communication. Les représentants du gouvernement, les officiels, les journalistes et les professionnels des médias ainsi que les groupes de la société civile ont pu discuter et formuler des recommandations, observations et propositions d’amélioration sur le document de base de l’avant-projet du Code de la Communication. Les participants ont travaillé dans quatre groupes (Radio, Télévision, Presse, Industries culturelles et TIC) et sont arrivés à un consensus sur la nécessité de poursuivre ce processus participatif incluant les différents acteurs des médias dans la finalisation du Code de la Communication.
La représentante de l’ONG ARTICLE 19 Fatou Jagne a rappelé l’importance d’adhérer à des principes internationaux relatifs aux médias pour assurer la liberté d’expression, le pluralisme et la diversité des médias. Le Ministre MCIRI Mahaforona Cyrille Reboza a réaffirmé l’engagement du ministère à faire adopter l’avant-projet de Code de la communication en mai 2015. Lors de son discours, Tahitsy Gilbert, membre du Club des journalistes doyens et représentant des participants a salué cet engagement des autorités.
L’évènement a également été honoré par la présence du Premier Ministre Kolo Roger qui a assisté à une partie des discussions sur l’avant-projet du Code de la Communication. Il a réitéré dans son message l’importance d’avoir de l’audace pour réformer le secteur des médias et de la communication afin que les médias malgaches soient libres et indépendants.
The meeting was organized to emphasize the important role of the media sector in the development of Madagascar. Under the high patronage of the President of the Republic and the sponsorship of the Prime Minister, the event is the result of collaboration between the Ministry of Communication, Information and Relations with Institutions (MCIRI) and the United Nations, especially CINU, OHCHR, UNDP and UNESCO. The representative of the United Nations Jaco du Toit, UNESCO Regional Advisor for Communication and Information in East Africa, reiterated in his speech the will of the UN system to work in close cooperation with the government, journalists and media professionals and civil society to build knowledge societies.
The first day was devoted to the presentation and discussion of the draft report on the evaluation of the media in Madagascar, conducted by UNESCO in partnership with the Department of Interdisciplinary Professional Training of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Antananarivo. The study, which is based on the UNESCO Media Development Indicators (MDI) takes into account data collected from 9 major sites in Madagascar. An advisory committee comprising representatives of the written, audiovisual media, civil society, training institutions and the government provided advice to the research team throughout the process. The report's recommendations focus on the legal and regulatory framework, the audiovisual control system, the media as a platform for democratic discourse, vocational training, trade unionism and civil society and the media, and infrastructural capacity of the media.
During the second day of the Forum, the focus was on one of the key instruments of the sector, namely the draft media bill (Code de la Communication). Government representatives, officials, journalists and media professionals as well as civil society discussed and made recommendations, comments and suggestions for improvement of the draft bill. The participants worked in four groups (Radio, TV, press, cultural Industries and ICT) and arrived at a consensus on the need to continue this participatory process, involving various media players in the finalization of the draft media bill.
The representative of the NGO ARTICLE 19 Fatou Jagne reiterated the importance of adhering to international principles relating to the media to ensure freedom of expression, pluralism and diversity of media. The Minister of Ministry of Communication, Information and Relations with Institutions Cyrille Mahaforona Reboza reaffirmed the commitment of the Ministry to adopt the draft media Bill in May 2015. During his speech, Tahitsy Gilbert, member of the Club of Journalists representing participants to the forum welcomed the commitment of the authorities.
The event was also honored by the presence of the Prime Minister Kolo Roger who attended part of the discussions on the draft media bill. He reiterated in his message the importance of having the courage to reform the media so that the Malagasy media can be free and independent.
The overall objective of the study is to stimulate global research on balancing privacy and transparency within UNESCOs mandate of protecting freedom of expression. The research should unpack the complexity of the subject, by seeking answers to the questions through both normative and empirical information. The study should contribute to a better protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially the right to freedom of expression.
The scope of the research study*:
· Overview of international, regional and national frameworks, normative guidelines and accountability mechanisms that underpin the digital dimensions of privacy and transparency ;
· Relation between the privacy of personal data, and transparency, and how to balance them in the context of public interest;
· Anonymisation issues concerning data in both public and private sectors, which enters into the public sphere;
· Issues around “the right to be forgotten” in relation to the right to privacy and the right to access information;
· What is the status of public persons, within the context of balancing transparency and privacy on internet;
· Ways in which internet adds to complexity in regulating privacy and transparency online at the national, regional & international levels;
· Recommendations regarding sufficient safeguards in the digital environment so as to ensure a balance of privacy and transparency with the right to freedom of expression;
· National best practices aimed to reconcile the rights involved in privacy and transparency matters.
The research process requires:
· A mapping of issues so as to ensure comprehensiveness and global representation;
· Development of specific research questions for these;
· Collection of data, aggregation into a global report;
· Qualitative analysis of the findings and recommendations.
The envisioned output of the research:
Research & Qualitative findings
Bibliography & Appendices
*UNESCO is to provide applicant with an extensive concept note in order to elaborate on the scope of the study.
Comorian Media Training Workshop to Reinforce Good Democratic Reporting Practices for the Forthcoming 2015 Elections
The training workshop saw journalists and editors embrace clear commitments to playing a constructive role before, during and after the elections. “We re-discovered the ethical basis for the exercise of our profession,” One of the participants said. The training modalities at the workshop included practical work and simulation covering an election campaign.
Enhancing election reporting knowledge of journalists is crucial a free and fair election. An exchange of good election reporting practices took place between media practitioners, officials of the Comoros Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and the National Press and Audio Visual Council (CNPA).
Further to this, a seminar was organized to bring together directors, media executives and members of the National Press and Audio Visual Council on 10 November 2014. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and the National Press and Audiovisual Council (CNPA) also attended the seminar. The seminar drafted and adopted three crucial documented protocols. These are
- A media commitment for fair and responsible professional coverage of elections.
- A detailed request to CENI and CNPA for easy access by the media during the elections in line with the Comorian Constitution.
- An election guide for Comorian journalists to be distributed to all journalists in the country prior to the election.
The training initiatives were carried out by the Organization International de la Francophonie (OIF) and UNESCO as free and fair elections are essential for democracy consolidation and conflict prevention.
The Memory of the World workshop was opened by H.E. Hamad bin Hilal Al Mamaari, Undersecretary for Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Mr. Mohammed Saleem Al Yaqoubi, Secretary General of the Oman National Commission for UNESCO, Ministry of Education and on behalf of UNESCO, the opening remarks were delivered by Mr. Boyan Radoykov, Chief of Section in the Knowledge Societies Division, Communication and Information Sector.
The specific objectives of the workshop are:
(i) to increase awareness of the existence and significance of documentary heritage in the Arab region,
(ii) to help participants identify documentary heritage with global significance and
(iii) to assist them in preparing their respective applications for nominations to the Memory of the World International Register in accordance with the existing procedure.
The four-day workshop will bring together representatives from 12 Arab countries ,as well as national participants from Oman and three experts including Mr. George Boston, (UK Memory of the World National Committee), Ms. Alissandra Cummins (Former Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board, 2011-2013) and Mr. Abdelaziz Abid (Former Head of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme).
One of the most important components of the Programme is the Memory of the World Register, which has been a influential tool for increasing global awareness of the existence and significance of documentary heritage. In particular, the Memory of the World International Register has come to be considered as one of the most prestigious forms of worldwide recognition for documentary heritage with outstanding value and global significance.
The collection Treasury of Oriental Manuscripts from Slovakia, along with the National Library of Egypt's Collection of Mamluk Qur'an Manuscripts, and the Phoenician Alphabet from Lebanon, or the Persian Illustrated and Illuminated Manuscripts from Egypt, listed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register are but few examples of the important for the world sources of Islamic culture and literature representing the outstanding documentary heritage of the Arab region.
UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance. The Programme is thus intended to protect documentary heritage, and to help networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for the preservation of, and the access to, documentary and archival collections of valuable records.
The conference was attended by 110 participants including Moroccan journalists, academics, governmental officials, and representatives of international organizations such as Freedom House, Reporters without Borders, International Federation of Journalists, Amnesty International, Free Press Unlimited, as well as media researchers from Turkey, Tunisia, Lebanon, Senegal, Finland, Portugal and Spain.
During the presentation, UNESCO discussed the four dimensions of press freedom: freedom, pluralism, independence and safety of media professionals, together with gender equality, as the key components to consider when addressing legal and institutional guarantees for media freedom. UNESCO recognizes that for effective press freedom a media environment that is legally free, open to public debate and provides for pluralism and independence is essential.
The Moroccan National Press Syndicate commented that UNESCO’s conceptual framework for press freedom, namely, its Media Development Indicators is a useful reference tool for the analysis of press freedom in Morocco.
In his opening remarks, the Moroccan Minister of Communication, Mustapha Khalfi, called the conference a space for open and free dialogue allowing new ideas and proposals for the media reform in Morocco. He affirmed that: “The objective of the conference is to promote press freedom in Morocco. We cannot conceive democracy without a free press.”
The conference coincides with the national consultation on the Moroccan draft press code, which was made public on 18 October to be adopted by the Parliament in December. A session was allocated to the draft press code during which UNESCO was invited to comment.
The new project, “Promoting democracy and freedom of expression”, is both global and regional in scope benefiting people in the Arab region, Africa, South East Asia and Latin America. The project will complement UNESCO’s existing programme in freedom of expression and build upon achievements made through the Sida-funded project “Promoting an Enabling Environment for Freedom of Expression: Global Action with Special Focus on the Arab region.”
The project aims to foster peace, sustainable development and democracy through freedom of expression, at the global and regional levels. It includes four expected results:
- An enabling environment is fostered for freedom of expression, freedom of information and press freedom, both online and off-line;
- A free and safe environment for journalists is promoted, particularly in post-conflict countries and countries in transition;
- Journalists exercise professional and ethical standards that contribute to the media’s role as a platform for democratic discourse, including through election reporting and investigative journalism;
- Women and youth are empowered through enhanced media and information literacy and improved representation in the media.
Main modalities of action will consist of awareness-raising, coalition building, capacity building, promoting legal and regulatory reform, research, and sharing good practices.
The project will be divided into two components: global normative actions promoting awareness and research on world trends in freedom of expression and media development at the international level, and regional and national interventions aimed at building capacity of relevant stakeholders in places where freedom of expression is challenged and democratic space is limited.
Under the project will be the 2017 version of the report on World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development. The new report will track the evolution of trends since the initial report was published in 2014. The World Trends Report is a comprehensive document written in partnership with UNESCO and an Advisory Group of 27 international experts, drawing on more than 800 quantitative and qualitative sources.
Sylvie Coudray, Chief of Section for Freedom of Expression, says: “the report provides a systematic analysis of trends on the issue of freedom of expression and media development on a global level and has been launched in 10 countries. There is a need for UNESCO to continue mapping and understanding these important trends on this large scale.”
Safety has remained elusive for many practicing journalists, working in both traditional and new media. The safety of media workers is of great concern to society, since it is a prerequisite for preserving the fundamental right to freedom of expression. The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, led by UNESCO, has become a global point of reference, but much more remains to be done. Therefore many project activities will be address journalist safety.
The safety of journalists is a crosscutting issue that encompasses freedom of expression both online and off-line. Freedom of expression online directly relates to issues of digital security, surveillance, the right to privacy, and access to information, all of which are pertinent to journalists working in the digital age. As Internet-related issues have moved to the forefront of global agendas and as governance structures, legal frameworks, media and communication practices, and business models are reviewed and adapted to fit new digital developments, UNESCO works to ensure that the right to freedom of expression is protected online as well as off-line. The Organization promotes freedom of expression, privacy, safety and universal norms on the Internet as basic human rights – activities focusing on these issues will be vital to the project.
The project will also contribute to UNESCO’s two Global Priorities: Africa and Gender Equality. Finally, the project is in line with, and will contribute to, the UNESCO Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021.
Titled “the Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet”, the document states that “People across the world are looking to the United Nations to rise to the challenge with a truly transformative agenda that is both universal and adaptable to the conditions of each country, and that places people and planet at the center.”
It continues: “Their voices have underscored the need for democracy, rule of law, civic space and more effective governance and capable institutions; for new and innovative partnerships, including with responsible business and effective local authorities; and for a data revolution, rigorous accountability mechanisms, and renewed global partnerships.”
The report recognizes numerous contributions to the post-2015 development debate, indicating that amongst the points which these have underlined, they have also “called for strengthening effective, accountable, participatory and inclusive governance; for free expression, information, and association; for fair justice systems; and for peaceful societies and personal security for all.”
UNESCO has been prominent among these calls concerning free expression issues to be recognised with the development debate, notably in the World Press Freedom Day Paris Declaration and Bali Roadmap. Both these documents asked UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova to share their contents with Secretary General Ki-Moon.
In acknowledging receipt of the statements earlier this year, the UN Secretary General communicated to UNESCO that freedom of expression, press freedom, independent media and the right of access to information were of high importance, and should not be lost sight of in the ongoing post-2015 deliberations.
Predating the release of the SG’s new report, UNESCO’s 29th session of the intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) agreed in November on a decision that expressed disappointment that there was “no specific reference to the right to freedom of expression and information and its corollary, media freedom.”
The Council was responding to the UN Open Working Group’s list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where number 16 is: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” Goal 16.10 elaborates: “ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.”
The IPDC Council urged Member States to ensure that freedom of expression, free, independent and pluralistic media, and media development are integrated into the universal Post-2015 Development Agenda. A report to the council elaborated the work of the secretariat in regard to the status of freedom of expression as both a means and an end in sustainable development.
The “Road to Dignity” report signals that the SDGs will finalized be at a special Summit on sustainable development in September 2015. It proposes the possibility to maintain the 17 goals put forward by the UN’s Open Working Group, and to “rearrange them in a focused and concise manner that enables the necessary global awareness and implementation at the country level”.
UNESCO member states at the 37th General Conference of its member states recommended, in Resolution 64(v), that “the importance of promoting freedom of expression and universal access to knowledge and its preservation - including, among others, through free, pluralistic and independent media, both offline and online – as indispensable elements for flourishing democracies and to foster citizen participation be reflected in the post-2015 development agenda”.
The call for freedom of expression to be at the heart of the SDGs was also made by UNESCO at the WSIS+10 event in Geneva during 2014, as well as at a large number of other events.
Besides UNESCO, many civil-societal groupings have been pushing for a clearer statement within the UN on the link between free expression, press freedom and sustainable development.
An international coalition of non-governmental media development actors has urged the inclusion of these issues in the post-2015 development agenda, including in the Nairobi Declaration on the Post 2015 Development Agenda issued by the African chapter of the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) – an international body bringing together over 200 media development actors.
The GFMD coalition has endorsed UNESCO in taking leadership over coordinating the monitoring of any media-related indicators for the post-2015 agenda.
Seminar on Localization of Media and Information Literacy Kit in the Middle Eastern and Northern Africa (MENA) region
The seminar was organized from 1 to 2 December, 2014 at Hotel Fairmont, Nile City Cairo. 45 delegates including policy makers, curricula experts and teachers from 9 countries (Algeria, Egypt, Qatar, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen) joined this seminar and deliberated on the strategies to adapt MIL in their respective countries.
The seminar was opened by the Director of UNESCO Office and Egyptian Minister of Higher Education delegated by the Deputy Secretary General of the National Commission of UNESCO in Egypt.
UNESCO Cairo Office engaged some experts to prepare the MIL kit which contains material on media and information literacy (MIL) that could be used in the MENA region. These materials were produced with some audiovisual materials. This kit was reviewed by the participants of the seminar.
In general, the MIL kit was approved and appreciated by the participants. They have raised some issues including adding more contents and more information from the Arab World in the kIt. It was recommended that all the materials in the MIL kit must be in Arabic language. Other recommendations include: Establishing an Arab network for MIL, outlining a pan-Arab strategy for MIL, opening Arab Chapter of The Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), organizing a meeting for all the Arab Ministers of Education with the experts and inclusion of MIL curricula in the secondary school education in each country.
The event in Berlin was co-hosted by the EastWest Institute and Federal Republic of Germany, Foreign Office. It was attended by UNESCO’s Director for freedom of expression and media development, Guy Berger.
“There was great interest amongst participants in the research that UNESCO is doing into online access to information and knowledge, free expression, privacy and ethics,” said Berger.
Many delegates expressed interest in contributing to the process, including the March 3-4 2015 conference on the Study, he added. They saw links between UNESCO’s concerns and their own discussions which covered topics including surveillance, privacy and big data, as well as on governing and managing the Internet.
Berger was a speaker in a session titled “Managing policy barriers that limit access to information for innovation and education”
In his remarks, the Director proposed a human-rights based approach to the topic, explaining how the right of access to information is also relevant to the post-2015 development agenda. He further outlined how international standards require that any blocking and filtering of access to information should only be exceptional, and should correspond to recognized safeguards such as being necessary and proportional.
Speaking at the opening session, Mustafa Duhulow, Minister of Information of the Somalia Federal Government, said, “The dialogue aimed to address the safety of journalists, which is one of our key challenges in Somalia. It is an opportunity to hear how other countries solved issues of security and safety of journalists providing examples of best practices.”
Mohammed Ibrahim, Secretary General of National Union of Somalia Journalists (NUSOJ), noted that “the provisional constitution of Somalia guarantees freedom of expression.” However, statistics gathered since 2011 indicate that thirty journalists have been murdered, two of the incidents being reported in 2014. Three were wounded in the same year with five media houses closed and thirty-one journalists have been arrested. Only two incidents have been resolved. According to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), Somalia is among the most dangerous countries to work in as a journalist in the world.
The dialogue session, embracing the spirit of the commemoration of International Day to end Impunity celebrated on 2 November, also addressed issues of impunity of perpetuators of crimes against journalists. The two-day dialogue session contributed towards dialogue among media practitioners and security forces, exchanging international best practices on safety of journalists and projecting a way forward by drafting a national plan of action. This national plan of action, agreed upon during the dialogue session, will act as a guide in initiating the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity in Somalia. The priorities of the national plan of action are:
- raising awareness on the role of the media in reporting on security/terrorism and development;
- fostering unity, networking, advocacy skills and knowledge sharing among journalists in South Central, Puntland and Somaliland;
- opening lines of dialogue and engagement between media, government and key state institutions (police, judiciary, parliament, army) with a common strategy to deal with the media;
- developing safety and guidelines and protocol and carrying out training;
- enhancing media capacity on ethical reporting.
The Somalia Media Support Group (SMSG) was supported by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Free Press Unlimited, International Media Support (IMS), Fojo Media Institute, Relief International and UNESCO.
Throughout human history, technology has always impacted the way people live. The industrial revolution ushered in a new age of technology that raised the standards of living of people around the world and their access to goods and services. Today, technology is built into every facet of daily living. The emergence of information and communications technologies have dramatically increased connectivity between people and their access to information, and further raised living standards.
ICTs have indeed changed the way people live, work and play. However, not all people benefit from the advances of technology and the higher standards of living. This is mainly because not all people have access to new technologies, and not all people can afford them.
There are currently over 1 billion people living with some form of disability. Around the world, persons with disabilities not only face physical barriers but also social, economic and attitudinal ones. Furthermore, disability is associated with 20 per cent of global poverty, of which the majority live in developing countries. In spite of being the world’s largest minority group, persons with disabilities, as well as the issue of disability, have remained largely invisible in the mainstream development frameworks.
Since 1992, the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
The observance of this year’s Day provides an opportunity to further raise awareness of disability as a cross-cutting development issue. The theme of this year's commemoration, “Sustainable Development: The promise of technology” is timely, as it marks the conclusion of the period of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) in 2015 and the launching of the new development framework of sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The 2014 commemoration of IDPD will work to harness the power of technology to promote inclusion and accessibility to help realize the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society and shape the future of sustainable development for all.
Three sub-themes chosen will focus on the promise of technology in:
- Disability-Inclusive Sustainable Development Goals,
- Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Responses, and
- Creating Enabling Work Environments.
A special session will be organized by UNESCO and DESA on 3 December 2014 to present the New Delhi Declaration issued by the participants of the international conference entitled “From Exclusion to Empowerment: Role of ICTs for Persons with Disabilities”, which took place from 24 to 26 November 2014 in New Delhi, India. The conference provided a forum to explore the choices and opportunities available to people with disabilities. Particular attention will be given to education, information and knowledge, as well as economic empowerment through improved access to work and more social inclusion.
One hundred and thirty speakers from around the world are to address issues related to sustainable development, accessibility and technological solutions, as well as access to information and knowledge for persons with disabilities using ICTs. Participants will also make recommendations on the appropriate use of ICTs in favour of persons with disabilities. Other events scheduled during the conference include We Care, a festival of short films and documentaries on the theme of the Conference, drawing attention to the multiple abilities of persons with disabilities; and an exhibition of innovative assistive technologies and ICTs for persons with disabilities.
As an integral part of phase two of the overall activity “Legal Support to Media”, the training aimed at better acquainting young judges with media laws and the regulatory context in Jordan, with particular attention to online media laws, in comparison with international standards. Additionally, recommendations were compiled to feed into the design of the future network of specialized lawyers.
In the context of recent developments within the media sector in Jordan, namely the amendment of the Press and Publication Law leading to the closing of hundreds of websites, the need for legal support to media professionals has been identified as part of an overall development plan. In September 2013, UNESCO Amman started with phase one towards achieving a long-term goal to support media through a network of specialized lawyers to defend journalists, media activists, bloggers and other media professionals in court.
During the first phase of the project, a specific training for young lawyers was organized to familiarize them with international standards and national laws and regulations in order to better represent their clients in court. Moreover, an Action Plan for best solutions and recommended actions towards achieving freedom of expression in Jordan, with emphasis on Internet freedom and news websites was developed.
During the current phase of the project, a coaching period for the trained lawyers took place including actual court presence and deliberations on current cases involving media. In May 2014 a training camp for law students from five national universities was organized on media laws in Jordan.
In addition to the training cycle, an online platform is currently being created to serve as the sole comprehensive source for media laws and regulations in Jordan. The portal will provide detailed information needed for journalists, lawyers, and various media stakeholders to better understand the legal context related to media and freedom of expression in Jordan. The website will be updated and managed by the network created throughout the project.
Future phases in the project will include a workshop on creating synergies among the trained groups and with media stakeholders, and a Training of Trainers workshop (TOT) that will extend into a peer education initiative at local universities.
This project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in its goal to promote an enabling environment for freedom of expression, with a special focus on the Arab Region.
UNESCO is known as the “intellectual” agency of the United Nations. At a time when the world is looking for new ways to build peace and sustainable development, people must rely on the power of intelligence to innovate, expand their horizons and sustain the hope of a new humanism. UNESCO exists to bring this creative intelligence to life; for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built. UNESCO’s mission in Jordan is to work with the government of Jordan and other stakeholders to provide effective high quality educational, scientific, cultural and communication programmes.
For more information about the work of UNESCO in Jordan, please visit UNESCO's Office in Amman website.
International media law standards fuel the Asia Rounds of the Price Media Law Moot Court Competition in Beijing
The Moot Court Competition, a simulated court hearing used for pedagogical and research purposes, was co-organized by the Beijing-based Renmin University School of Law, its Asia-Pacific Institute of Law and Civil Law, and its Commercial Law Legal Science Research Center, in collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Programme for Comparative Media and Law Policy (PCMLP), and with the support of the UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
Eleven teams from the top law schools in China and one team from the Philippines argued over a complex simulated case dealing with issues concerning freedom of expression in the cyberspace, online content regulation, social media and Internet Service Provider ISP’s responsibility.
Applying comparative and international legal standards, the participants showed impressive argumentative skills to a moot bench composed by top jurists and law practitioners from three continents, including Professor Monroe E. Price, Director of the Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania; Mr Xiongshan Cai, Senior Legal Manager of Tecent; Mr Mark Stephens, internationally renowned lawyer and Chair of the University of Oxford’s PCMLP; as well as Mr Willem F. Korthals Altes, Senior Judge in the Criminal Law Division of the District Court of Amsterdam.
After a two-day heated and fair competition on legal arguments, the University of the Philippines got the first award, and the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) of China the second post. The finalists, together with the semifinalists (the Shandong and Peking universities from China) will take part to the global Price Media Law Moot Court Competition to be held in April 2015 in Oxford, United Kingdom.
Mr Raphael Lorenzo A. Pangalangan, a senior graduate from the winning team, credited the success to their great efforts and teamwork. “What I enjoyed the most about this event is the communication of so many different views of points on the issue,” he said. The runner-up team members from China said that the two-day competitions deepened their understanding about the case and of the underlining issues at stake.
Mr Andrea Cairola, Adviser for Communication and Information at UNESCO’s Beijing Office, congratulated all the participating teams, remarking that the Moot Court Programme is not just a simulation, because the legal principles the exercise has been dealing with are very much real and essential for the real world. The realization of these fundamental principles is the basis of the United Nations, and of a peaceful and just human coexistence.
Closing the competition, Professor Price said that it has been really moving to see such kind of institution-build around a set of ideas and a set of principles related to the rule of law. “The way the [legal] profession developed internationally has increased understanding between countries and peoples,” he added.
The Renmin Law School had applied to IPDC for support to the Moot Court Competition, and its project proposal was approved by the IPDC Bureau at its 58th meeting in March 2014. IPDC is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development.
“No podemos hablar de igualdad, buen gobierno, libertad de expresión y sostenibilidad cuando las mujeres son silenciadas en los medios y cuando se utiliza a las nuevas tecnologías para socavar los derechos humanos de las mujeres y las periodistas”, enfatizaron los miembros del Comité Orientador Internacional de GAMAG, una red que reúne a más de 500 organizaciones, sindicatos y redes de los medios de comunicación y de la sociedad civil.
La primera reunión del comité orientador de GAMAG (GAMAG-ISC por sus siglas en inglés) tuvo lugar en Ginebra del 4 al 5 de noviembre con el auspicio de UNESCO. El grupo declaró que el derecho a la comunicación, el acceso a la información y el acceso a las TIC es parte integral del desarrollo sostenible. Según esta agrupación, “este asunto se ha pasado por alto por completo en los diecisiete ODS y los 169 objetivos que se están desarrollando para reemplazar a los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio en 2015.”
Según el monitoreo mundial llevado a cabo por la WACC (World Association for Christian Communication) tan solo un 24% de las fuentes para las noticias son mujeres. Un estudio global de la IWMF (International Women’s Media Foundation) muestra que sólo 36% de los periodistas son mujeres y ellas representan sólo un cuarto de las personas en puestos de toma de decisión. Una variedad de estudios muestra una creciente brecha de género en acceso y propiedad de TIC. Los nuevos medios también atizan nuevas formas de violencia contra las mujeres y las niñas, tales como acosarles, embaucarles y fomentar la trata de personas.
Organizaciones como el Comité para la Protección de los Periodistas (CPJ por sus siglas en inglés) y Reporteros Sin Fronteras han documentado ampliamente las amenazas y la violencia contra trabajadores de los medios, especialmente los ataques mortíferos. Sin embargo, ningún grupo reúne datos sobre las amenazas contra la seguridad de las mujeres periodistas, y los ataques contra mujeres que trabajan en los medios son reportados de forma anecdótica y esporádica por las organizaciones internacionales de apoyo a los medios, si reportados..
GAMAG propone incluír las siguientes disposiciones en los ODS:
- La participación de las mujeres de forma efectiva, en igualdad de condiciones y libres de violencia en todas las áreas de toma de decisión y durante el ejercicio de sus tareas en los medios.
- Igualdad de acceso de las mujeres a las TIC y a sus beneficios.
- Derecho a la seguridad e integridad física en la esfera pública digitalizada.
- Representación justa y equilibrada de los géneros en los medios, incluyendo en el plano laboral.
- Cobertura ética, justa y con perspectiva de derechos humanos sobre la violencias contras las mujeres y las niñas.
- El género en políticas y planes de formación sobre medios y TIC
- Educación, formación y campañas de alfabetización sobre género y medios.
La Alianza, que fue inaugurada durante la Conferencia sobre Género y Medios en Bangkok en diciembre 2013, busca potenciar nuevas oportunidades, y enfrentar los nuevos desafíos para la igualdad de género y el empoderamiento de las mujeres dentro y por medio de los medios en el contexto de la sociedad del saber que ha transformado radicalmente las estructuras mediáticas.
GAMAG-ISC manifiesta su preocupación por la extrema lentitud en los avances hacia un entorno mediático que apoye y promueva la igualdad de género y los objetivos de derechos de las mujeres. Para acelerar los procesos de cambio, la Alianza se propone amplificar y dar visibilidad a iniciativas clave sobre género y medios a nivel regional y global. Además, GAMAG tomará medidas para asegurar que el derecho de las mujeres a la comunicación gane prominencia en las revisiones de los eventos Beijing+20, debates post-2015 y la Cumbre Mundial de Desarrollo Social (WSIS)+10 que están en marcha actualmente.
Las prioridades identificadas por GAMAG son:
- El empoderamiento de las mujeres y la igualdad de género en los medios, para asegurar una mejor representación de las mujeres en niveles ejecutivos de los medios
- Accción para proteger a las mujeres periodistas de abusos y violencia en Internet o fuera de Internet. Ésto incluirá la creación de una sólida base de datos sobre violencia contra las mujeres en los medios.
- Refuerzo de investigaciones, políticas y buenas prácticas para los contenidos y la praxis mediática sensible a las cuestiones de género. Desarrollo de guías del buen periodismo.Avance en la investigación sobre las mujeres en los medios.
- El ISC acordó mecanismos de trabajo, incluyendo sub-comités regionales y temáticos: Juventud; Investigación; Capacitación y Formación; Advocacy, Comunicaciones, Campañas, Contenidos y Desarrollo; Políticas y Prácticas de los Medios y las TIC.
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« Nous ne pouvons pas parler d’égalité, de bonne gouvernance, de liberté d’expression ou encore de gestion durable alors que l’on fait taire des femmes dans et par le biais des médias et que les nouvelles technologies sont utilisées pour nuire aux droits des femmes et des journalistes femmes », a remarqué le Comité de pilotage (ISC) de l’AMGM, un réseau global de 500 organismes de médias et de développement des médias, d’associations et de sociétés civiles.
Le Comité de pilotage de l’AMGM, qui s’est réuni pour la première fois les 4 et 5 novembre 2014 à Genève sous l’égide de l’UNESCO et de l’ISESCO, a déclaré que le droit à la communication, l’accès à l’information et aux technologies de l’information et de la communication (TIC) fait partie intégrante du développement durable. Selon l’AMGM, « il est frappant de voir à quel point ce sujet est absent des 17 objectifs de développement durable et des 169 objectifs qui remplaceront les objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD) l’année prochaine.»
Des recherches de l’Association mondiale pour la communication chrétienne (WACC) constatent que les femmes sont à la source d’à peine 24% des contenus médiatiques. Une étude mondiale de la Fondation internationale des femmes dans les médias (IWMF) montre que les femmes représentent seulement 36% des reporters et 1/4 des décideurs dans les médias. Plusieurs études révèlent un écart croissant entre les hommes et les femmes propriétaires ou usagers des TIC. En outre, les nouveaux médias nourrissent de nouvelles formes de violence envers les femmes et les jeunes filles, tels que le harcèlement, l’abus de faiblesse, et le trafic d’êtres humains.
Les menaces et violences contre les professionnels des médias, notamment les attaques mortelles, sont en général bien documentées par des organisations telles que l’Organisation mondiale des journaux (WAN-IFRA), la Fédération internationale des journalistes (FIJ), le Comité pour la protection des journalistes (CPJ) et Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF). Cependant, aucun groupe n’enregistre les données relatives aux menaces de sécurité des journalistes femmes à l’échelle mondiale. Les signalements des attaques contre les femmes travaillant dans les médias restent au mieux anecdotiques.
Les points que l’AMGM veut ancrer dans les SDG comprennent :
- La participation égale et effective des femmes ainsi que la non-violence à leur égard, dans tous les domaines de la pratique et la gestion des médias.
- Un accès égal aux avantages des TIC dans les médias pour les femmes.
- Le droit à la sécurité et l’intégrité physique dans l’espace publique numériquement médiatisé.
- Une représentation juste et équilibrée des genres et des femmes dans les médias, en ce qui concerne le contenu et la portée de ces représentations.
- Une couverture médiatique sensible et adéquate de la violence contre les femmes et les jeunes filles et qui soit axée sur le respect de leurs droits.
- Le respect de l’égalité des chances entre femmes et hommes dans les médias, les politiques des TIC et les cursus éducatifs.
- Des formations et campagnes sur le genre, les médias et la maîtrise de l’information.
Fondée après une conférence majeure sur le genre et les médias tenue par l’UNESCO et ses partenaires à Bangkok en décembre 2013, l’AMGM cherche à exploiter les nouvelles opportunités mais aussi à aborder les défis liés à l’égalité des genres et l’autonomisation des femmes dans et par les médias, dont l’architecture a radicalement changé dans le contexte des sociétésdu savoir.
L’AMGM-ISC se préoccupe du fait que le progrès vers des médias qui soutiennent l’égalité des genres et les droits des femmes reste douloureusement lent. L’AMGM donnera plus d’ampleur et de visibilité aux initiatives régionales et mondiales sur le genre et les médias afin d’accélérer le changement. En outre, l’AMGM s’engage pour que le droit des femmes à la communication gagne de l’importance dans l’évaluation actuelle des objectifs « Bejing+20 », dans les débats sur l’agenda du développement post-2015 et le Sommet pour la société de l’information (WSIS+10).
Les priorités identifiées par l’AMGM comprennent :
- L’autonomisation des femmes et l’égalité des genres dans et par les médias pour une meilleure représentation des femmes dans les instances de direction des médias.
- Une meilleure protection contre la violence et l’abus des journalistes femmes en et hors ligne. Cela implique l’assemblage d’une base de données solide sur la violence contre les femmes dans les médias.
- Renforcer la recherche, les dispositifs politiques et les meilleures pratiques pour des contenus et des pratiques médiatiques sensibles à la question du genre. Développer des directives d’un bon journalisme.
- Rassembler et partager les mesures politiques, les contenus et les bonnes pratiques qui font avancer l’égalité des genres dans et par les médias et les TIC.
- Promouvoir la recherche sur les femmes dans les médias.
L’ISC s’est mis d’accord sur son fonctionnement, y compris sur les sous-comités thématiques ou régionaux : jeunesse, recherche, renforcement des capacités et formation, plaidoyer politique, communication, campagnes et relations externes, médias, politiques TIC, contenu et pratique.
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“We cannot talk about equality, good governance, freedom of expression and sustainability when women are effectively silenced in and through the media, and where new technologies are used to undermine the human rights of women and women journalists,” noted the International Steering Committee (ISC) of GAMAG, a network of 500 media and media development, unions and civil society organisations across the globe.
The GAMAG-ISC, which held its first meeting in Geneva from 4-5 November 2014 under the auspices of UNESCO and ISESCO, said the right to communicate; access to information, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is integral to sustainable development. Currently, GAMAG said, “this issue is glaringly missing from the seventeen SDG’s and the 169 targets that will replace the Millennium Development Goals next year.”
Research conducted by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) shows that women constitute a mere 24% of news sources. A global study by the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) shows that women only constitute 36% of reporters and a quarter of media decision-makers. A range of studies shows a growing gender gap in access to, and ownership of ICTs. New media is also fuelling new forms of violence against women and girls ranging from stalking and trolling to human trafficking.
Threats and violence against media workers in general are well-documented, especially with regard to deadly attacks, by organisations like the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF). But there is no group collecting data on security threats to women journalists globally. Attacks against female media workers are only reported anecdotally, if at all, by international media support organisations.
Provisions that GAMAG wants included in the SDG’s include:
- Women’s equal and effective participation and freedom from violence in all areas of media decision-making and practice.
- Women’s equal access to media ICTs and their benefits.
- The right to safety and bodily integrity in the digitally mediated public sphere.
- Fair and balanced gender portrayal and occupational representation of women in the media.
- Sensitive, fair and rights-based coverage of violence against women and girls.
- Mainstreaming of gender in media and ICT policy and training curricula.
- Gender, media and information literacy training, education and campaigns.
Launched after a watershed UNESCO and partners-led conference on gender and the media in Bangkok in December 2013, GAMAG seeks to harness new opportunities, and address new challenges, for gender equality and women's empowerment in and through media in a knowledge society context which has radically transformed media architectures.
The GAMAG-ISC is concerned that progress towards media that support gender equality and women’s rights objectives remains painfully slow. GAMAG will amplify and give visibility to existing key regional and global initiatives on gender and media to hasten the pace of change. Further, GAMAG will take action to ensure that women’s communication rights gain prominence in on-going Beijing+20 review events, the post-2015 debates and the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS)+10.
Priority actions identified by GAMAG include:
- Advocacy on women’s empowerment and gender equality in the media and through media to ensure better representation of women in the board rooms and behind editors’ desks.
- Acting to better protect women journalists on and offline and on the frontline from violence and abuse. This will include gathering a solid foundation of data on violence against women in the media.
- Developing and curating research, policies and best practices, as well as reporting guidelines for promoting gender responsive and aware media content and practice.
- Gathering and sharing policies, content and good practices that advance gender equality in and through the media and ICTs.
- Furthering research on women in the media.
The ISC agreed on working mechanisms, including regional and theme sub-committees on Youth; Research; Capacity Building and Training; Advocacy, Communications, Campaigning and Outreach; Media, ICT Policies, Content and Practice.
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The 39-member Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development for Communication (IPDC ) has emerged in recent years as a laboratory of ideas on journalists’ safety. As highlighted by Mr Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO to Council, the IPDC is also the birthplace of the landmark UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
At its 29th Session on 21 November in Paris, the Council welcomed the fourth Director-General’s Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity which tracks the status of judicial inquiries of killings of journalists, media workers, and social media producers who are engaged in journalistic activities and who are killed or targeted in their line of duty, as condemned by the Director-Genera
The Council’s Decision on the report urged “all Member States to encourage the inclusion of freedom of expression and its corollary press freedom in the post-2015 sustainable development goals, in particular the safety of journalists and issue of impunity as a key gateway to achieving Goal 16 which seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and access to justice for all through achieving a reduction in violence and crime”.
However, the Council also noted with regret that, in two-thirds of the cases in which journalists have been killed, no information has been submitted to the Director-General despite requests to the Member States concerned to voluntarily provide updates.
According to the Report, no information was provided on 382 out of 593 cases of killings of journalists which happened between 2006 and 2013.
The IPDC decision urges Member States to promote the safety of journalists by taking advantage of the knowledge, experiences and opportunities available through participation in the UN Plan of Action. It notes that the Plan encourages “the development of national processes and mechanisms involving all stakeholders to achieve an environment for the safe exercise of free expression”.
The newly adopted Decision further acknowledged the research report “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development” from 2014 by UNESCO and in particular Chapter 4 on Safety. It welcomed “the continuation of such research as a UNESCO knowledge resource for governments, media, academia, international community and civil society”.
The support for journalists’ safety by Member States on the IPDC Council is being echoed at the UN General Assembly where its Third Committee has also renewed its commitment on the issues by adopting a new Resolution on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity at its 69th session. This Resolution, which has still to go to the General Assembly, calls on all stake holders to cooperate with UNESCO and to active exchange information to support the implementation of the UN Plan of Action to improve safety of journalists and to end impunity.