IFAP Council meeting was held under the chairmanship of Russia
The 7th session of the Intergovernmental Council for the UNESCO Information for All Programme was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, from 2 to 3 April 2012. This session of the Council was followed by the 20th Council meeting on 4 April 2012. Meetings of the governing bodies of the IFAP were held under the chairmanship of Russian representative Evgeny Kuzmin, unanimously elected to a second term. This election was based on the significant progress made by the Program during 2010-2011 through the active presidency of Russia.
The following officials were elected as Vice-Chairpersons of Mr. Kuzmin: Sonny Coloma, (The Philippines), Presidential Communications Operations Office; Dietrich Schüller (Austria), Phonogrammarchiv, Centre for Linguistics and Audiovisual Documentation, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Imi Chitterman (Grenada), software developer. Mohammed Sheya, Deputy Permanent Representative of Tanzania to UNESCO; Sonia Sarmiento, Permanent Representative of Colombia to UNESCO; Omar Al Shanfari, Director of Communications Department of the Ministry of Oman and Andris Vasilevs, head of a Latvian IT company were elected as members of the Council.
Members of the IFAP Council assigned responsibility for the activity on each of the priority areas of the program. Thus, the Philippines are responsible for the "Media and Information Literacy" area, Austria is responsible for the "Conservation of Information" area, "Accessibility" is the area of responsibility of Oman, Tanzania and Grenada share the responsibilities over the "Information for Development" area and Latvia is responsible for the "Information Ethics" area. Russia is responsible for overall coordination of the activities, the preparation of key documents, and interaction with other international organizations. All members of the Council expressed their readiness to actively contribute to the development of the Programme and its priority areas, to cooperate closely within the Council and with other countries.
Scientific researches, reviews of national policies and practices, and international conferences will be held according to each priority are of IFAP. Furthermore, general advisory frameworks of international and national policies will be developed.
Besides E. Kuzmin, IFAP Chairperson, the Intergovernmental Council was attended by other members of official delegations of Russia: Mr. V. Yudin, Deputy Head of the Special Communications Service of the The Federal Guard Service of the Russian Federation, member of The Russian Committee of the UNESCO Information for All Programme, Mr. N. Khaustov, the Third Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, and Mr. I. Kobzev, the Third Secretary of Permanent Delegation of Russia to UNESCO.
The unique potential and contribution to the development and implementation of a just foreign policy of inclusive information society were analyzed in the reports of E. Kuzmin and other members of Russian delegation. Over 70 countries participated in two major international conferences organized in 2011 in Moscow and Yakutsk on two priority areas of the Programme - on the preservation of electronic information and the development of linguistic diversity in cyberspace. The Intergovernmental Council meeting covered following issues: the necessity and prospects of further strengthening of the IFAP, the visibility of the program and the promotion of its achievements, as well as the need to involve new stakeholders, the contribution of IFAP in the preparation of a new medium-term UNESCO strategy, program and budget for the next four years.
A number of countries decided to open national committees of the Programme. The intention to hold the 2013 IFAP international conference was expressed by Israel (IFAP and the Internet), the Philippines (Information Literacy), Oman (Information Accessibility), Grenada (Building of knowledge societies.) These activities will be added to the IFAP Plan for 2012-2013, which was approved by the Intergovernmental Council. An important role is played by the Russian Committee and its working body of the Interregional Library Cooperation Centre with the support of Russian Ministry of Culture and the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications: it is planned to hold the International conference "Media and Information Literacy in the Information Society" (June 26-28 2012, Moscow), as well as the International conference "Internet and Socio-Cultural TransformationS" in Sakhalin in 2013.
During the Intergovernmental Council meeting a lively discussion on the further development of the program and its place in UNESCO's activities took place. It became the cause of serious conflict of different political interests over the definition of objectives, priorities and content of international policy in the area of the information society development. The struggle for influence in cyberspace is becoming an essential component of the implementation of political, economic, cultural and propaganda purposes for all the key stakeholders in international politics.
Members of Russian delegation: V. Yudin, Deputy Head of the Special Communication office of the Federal protective Service of Russia, member of The Russian Committee of the UNESCO Information for All Programme and E. Mitrofanova, Permanent Representative of Russian Federation to UNESCO.
In the Presidium Meeting of the 7th session of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme (from left to right): Indrajit Banerjee, Director of UNESCO’s Information Society Division, Boyan Radoykov, Programme Specialist Information Access and Preservation Section, Evgeny Kuzmin, Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Council for IFAP and Janis Karklins, Assistant Director-General for UNESCO's Communication and Information Sector.