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Conference on "Media and Information Literacy for Building a Culture of Open Government"

Monday 27 June 2016, by SIGNIS

Moscow, June, 27th, 2016 (UNESCO). More than 100 experts from 45 countries gathered in Khanty-Mansiysk, in Russia in the beginning of June, 2016 for the first Information for All Programme (IFAP) international conference on “Media and Information Literacy for Building a Culture of Open Government”.

The conference facilitated rich, global exchanges on aspects such as the conceptualization of open government, strategies for developing media and information competencies amongst civil servants and citizens as well as the development and introduction of media and information literacy curricula in national educational programmes.

In his statement to conference participants, Mr Frank La Rue, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, pointed to “access to information and freedom of expression laws based on international standards, a citizen-centric approach, and a commitment to sustainable development based on human solidarity and peace as crucial pillars for unlocking the potential of open government for enhancing well-being”.

According to Ms Chafica Haddad, the recently re-elected Chair of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental IFAP Council and Deputy Permanent Delegate of Grenada to UNESCO, “the conference marked another important stage in IFAP’s journey to ensure that every person is able to access and utilize information and knowledge to reach their full potential and contribute to human development and peace”. She also pointed to “the Internet Universality Principles adopted last year at UNESCO’s 38thGeneral Conference as an endorsement of the importance of MIL (media and information literacy ) and multi-stakeholder partnerships between governmental and the range of non-governmental actors, ideas that IFAP earlier emphasized in its 2012 Moscow Declaration on Media and Information Literacy for Knowledge Societies”.

Participants adopted a conference declaration that recognizes MIL as essential for effective systems of open governance, calls for the development of MIL standards and assessment systems, and encourages investment and capacity-building needed to create enabling ecosystems.

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