Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

Contribution de l'UNESCO au Sommet mondial sur la société de l'information (SMSI) - Genève 2003 et Tunis 2005 (166 EX/19)

UNESCO, Conseil exécutif, 166e session

Paris, 3 mars 2003 - 2003/03/03

This document outlines UNESCO’s actions in preparation for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and provides a summary of the elements UNESCO has proposed for inclusion in the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action. UNESCO’s proposals are based on its specific mandate. This mandate leads UNESCO to promote the concept of knowledge societies rather than that of a global information society “since enhancing information flows alone is not sufficient to grasp the opportunities for development that is offered by knowledge. Therefore, a more complex, holistic, and comprehensive vision and a resolutely developmental perspective are needed.” For UNESCO, there are four principles essential to the development of equitable knowledge societies: cultural diversity, equal access to education, universal access to information (in the public domain), and freedom of expression. To realize these principles UNESCO is working towards the attainment of three strategic objectives: fostering digital opportunities and social inclusion by enhancing the use of ICT for capacity-building, empowerment, governance and social participation; strengthening capacities for scientific research, information sharing and cultural creations, performances, and exchanges in knowledge societies; and enhancing learning opportunities through access to diversified contents and delivery systems. The Executive Board has called upon UNESCO member states to fully recognize these principles in preparing both meetings of the Summit. (Available in French and English only)