Strengthening communication capacities within countries Building communication capabilities Developing a new information order
Ensuring, especially within developing countries, that public, private and other media are provided with the conditions and resources to gain in strength, consolidate their independence, expand and cooperate, both among themselves and with the public or private media in industrialized countries, on a basis of strict equality and mutual respect.
The importance of communication as an essential resource for the development of societies and for improving international understanding is recognized to an extent that varies according to the individual society. The growing awareness of this potential has created enhanced interest among the international community in wider participation in the communication process.
In the case of UNESCO the emphasis is on giving developing countries a distinctive voice in international dialogue and improving the quality and quantity of information flow between the developing and the industrialized world. UNESCO developed the concept of a new world information and communication order, seen as an evolving a continuous process. An International Programme for the Development of Communication was launched in 1980 to: develop endogenous capacities in developing countries, particularly communication infrastructures; mobilize increased resources from industrialized countries; strengthen international technical cooperation, notably among developing countries. Since 1990 UNESCO has emphasized the development, in countries requesting that assistance, the training of communication professionals and the facilities for media education emphasizing development of critical acumen among users and the capacity of individuals and communities to react to any kind of manipulation, whilst providing users with a better understanding of means to defend their rights. Programmes have included: development of rural press, regional news agencies, and community radio; training of specialists in desktop publishing, news agency operations, communication planning, audio-visual archives. Training courses have been developed, especially for women communicators.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.