IPDC’s Bureau meets for first time for induction workshop

Last week, the Secretariat of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) organized an induction meeting for the members of its new Bureau.
The practice has become a regular feature of IPDC functioning, following recommendations from UNESCO’s overall governance review.

During the session, the Bureau was presented with an overview of the IPDC’s mission, working modalities and challenges for the months to come.

Opening the meeting, Anna Brandt, IPDC Chair and Ambassador of Sweden to UNESCO, underlined the testing global context for media development and safety of journalists, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She noted that this context reinforced the relevance of the IPDC’s mission to promote free, independent and pluralistic media and the safety of journalists. “It serves as a reminder of the importance of providing continued support to the Programme”, she said.

She emphasized that the priority should be support the multi-donor special account which gives the Bureau the flexibility to decide on emerging priorities and areas of greatest need.

The UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, Tawfik Jelassi, called the adoption of the Windhoek +30 Declaration on Information as a Public Good, and subsequent endorsement of its principles by the UNESCO General Conference, as a significant milestone of the past year. The Declaration is a valuable point of synergy for the IPDC and others, to further advance the pursuit for free, independent, pluralistic and safe media.

He ended by saying that “through the continued commitment of the Bureau, IPDC will continue to provide a vital multilateral platform for reflection and action on the future development of communication.”

The ADG signaled that UNESCO was beginning work to support the UN Secretary General’s Common Agenda and Global Digital Impact, and that IPDC would be kept current in the areas relevant to its mandate and interest.

Guy Berger, IPDC Secretary, and Saorla McCabe, IPDC Deputy Secretary, updated the Bureau on the IPDC’s recent activities, project cycles, and financial mechanisms. The Secretary of IPDC underlined the importance of the Programme and its role within the wider UNESCO and UN ecosystem.

“IPDC is a laboratory of ideas; it’s a place where experts from different countries come up with ideas about what is happening in the world in the context of the role of journalism, and what to do with new challenges including sustainable development, disinformation, and hate speech”, he said.

This year, three significant events related to IPDC’s activities include the annual Bureau of the IPDC Bureau in June 2022, the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan for Action for the Safety of Journalists in November 2022 and the biennial session of the IPDC, also to be held in November.

Established in 1980, the IPDC is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries.


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