Saturday, April 29, 2006

World Press Freedom Day 2006 - 3 May

Go to the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day website.

UNESCO promotes freedom of expression and freedom of the press as a basic human right. It advocates the basic human right of freedom of expression, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and its corollary, press freedom. Indeed, since its creation in 1945, UNESCO has been called upon to “promote the free flow of ideas by word and image”.

Check out the Wikipedia site for World Press Freedom Day for more information on the history of the event.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization

Some time ago this blog reported the creation of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization. Now, Science magazine reports that the organization has made its first ten grants. SciDev.Net reported last May:
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has pledged US$100,000 to allow the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO) to begin implementing 30 new research projects involving both Palestinian and Israeli scientists. The grant was announced at a 23 May meeting at UNESCO's Paris headquarters, convened to review IPSO's progress.

This is another program that demonstrates a willingness in the scientific community to work with people across political boundries. The Israeli and Palestinian participants in this program, supported by other donors as well as UNESCO, are courageously seeking normality in the face of chaos and danger. UNESCO plays a key role in legitimizing the program, as well as jump-starting collaboration!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

World Press Freedom Day 2006 - 3 May

The Third of May is World Press Freedom Day. UNESCO, which plays the lead role in the United Nations system in promoting Press Freedom, organizes activities each year to mark the event. Read here about UNESCO's related activities.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Towards Knowledge Societies

The UNESCO World Report on knowledge societies for all has been released at a crucial moment. After the achievements of the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, there is fresh international interest in the growth and development paradigm that bears within it the idea of “knowledge societies”. We are witnessing the emergence of a need for clarification of its aims as a project of society. This is the challenge that the UNESCO World Report intends to address on the eve of decisive international meetings.

UNESCO Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize 2006 awarded to Lebanese journalist May Chidiac

The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is awarded annually on World Press Freedom Day (3 May). The 2006 prize, worth US $25,000, is financed this year by the Guillermo Cano Foundation, James and David Ottaway - respectively a former reporter from the Washington Post and a former Chairperson of the World Press Freedom Committee - and UNESCO.

This year it is to be awarded to Lebanese journalist May Chidiac, a popular television presenter, whose news bulletins and Sunday programs - Naharkoum Saïd and Bonjour – on LBC (Lebanese Broadcasting Corp.) are among the most widely followed in Lebanon.

The victim of a car bomb attack on 25 September 2005, Ms Chidiac had one of her hands and her left leg amputated. The tragedy shook Lebanese opinion, which came to see the journalist as a symbol of freedom of expression. The attack against her closely resembled the fatal attack on Samir Kassir, a journalist from the daily An Nahar, five months earlier. Another similar attack in December 2005 targeted the editor of An-Nahar, Gebran Tueni. May Chidiac was proposed as a candidate for prize by the Lebanese minister for culture.

Policy Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Governmental Public Domain Information

These Guidelines were developed to advise Member States on policies for the development and promotion of public domain information, taking account of both national needs and international practices. Countries are intended to follow the guidelines in order to facilitate access to information in the public domain, with the ultimate aim of building up a general electronic repository of all information of a public nature relevant to UNESCO’s fields of competence -- education, science, culture and communication. This final version of the document is intended as a practical guide to assist in implementation of the relevant provisions of the Recommendation on Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace, adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in November 2003.

UNESCO’s Basic Texts on the Information Society

Article 1 of UNESCO's Constitution states that it will "collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image". Among UNESCO’s fundamental activities, then, is the drafting of charters, declarations and recommendations intended to present the essence of its proposals for action in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. UNESCO staff have attempted through this publication to select a number of quotations from the Organization’s many official texts, originating from all its program sectors, which contribute to defining what the information society ought to be, without reducing the debate to purely technical issues. It was prepared for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). UNESCO, 2003. (PDF, 116 pages.)

"Measuring and monitoring the information and knowledge societies: a statistical challenge"

Read the full report online.

This report focuses on data systems and measurement issues with regard to ICT, including aspects of data availability, international comparability and quality, as well as their content. The overall aim of the report is to support the development of national, regional and international data systems and indicators that are comprehensive, policy relevant and reliable for the proper understanding, monitoring and development of a sustainable and equitable Information/Knowledge Society. The first part of this report is a stocktaking of selected global ICT data from a variety of sources, followed by a discussion on the limitations of the existing data as well as barriers and problems that might be encountered in collecting of such data. The final section of the report discusses data that might be of value to collect in the future. The report concludes with a series of recommendations. By Diane Stukel, Subramaniyam Venkatraman, Lydia Deloumeaux, Patrick Lucas and Melanie Smuga, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2003. (PDF, 104 pages, 2.4 MB) Available in French and Russian as well as English.