On 18 November 2020, UNESCO and Iceland signed an Agreement, aiming at providing the first financial support of Iceland to the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The Agreement was signed by Her Excellency Unnur Orradóttir-Ramette Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Iceland to UNESCO with Jean-Yves Le Saux, Director of the Bureau of Strategic Planning at UNESCO.
Iceland joins forces with other donors, including the Nordics countries, in their support to the promotion of free and pluralistic media development in developing countries. The predictable nature of the Icelandic support, that covers 4 years, is significant and will allow for a better planning and effective implementation. The first-year contribution from Iceland will allow UNESCO to implement relevant projects to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, as freedom of speech and access to information are essential to face this crisis.
“Iceland is pleased to become a contributor to the IPDC at this point in time, as we celebrate its 40th anniversary next week. Having strong and independent media is important to all societies, especially now with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to working with the IPDC for the next four years, contributing to the development of media and capacity building of media professionals” declared Ambassador Orradóttir-Ramette.
Jean-Yves Le Saux stressed the importance of the predictable and flexible funding from Iceland and IPDC secretary Guy Berger thanked Iceland for its support, saying that the Programme marked its 40th anniversary on 24 November with an important role going ahead. “Iceland’s support will help build the capacity of journalists in developing countries to supply the public with reliable information by means of a strong and independent media sector which is key to countering the current infodemic”. He added: “While all contributions to media development are appreciated and make a difference, we particularly value this multi-year commitment from Iceland.”