Slovak Committee for UNESCO Information for All Programme (IFAP)
IFAP is an intergovernmental programme which was established in 2000. By engaging in the Programme, the governments of the world have commited themselves to utilize new opportunities of the information era in order to create an equitable society and enable better access to information.
In the last decade, the technological development progresses by leaps and bounds – in the history of mankind in an unprecedented measure and in an unprecedented pace. The challenge, which the world currently faces, lies in ensuring equal access to new opportunities to all people. Information is the key to development. It is also inevitable for the sustainability of development. Furthermore, information is necessary in order to preserve peace and mutual understanding. IFAP is UNESCO’s answer to the challenges and the opportunities of the information society.
IFAP is closely linked with the regular UNESCO programme, especially in the field of communication and information. IFAP works closely with other intergovernmental organizations and also with international non-governmental organizations, particularly with those specializing in the management and preservation of information (e.g. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions /IFLA/ or International Council on Archives /ICA/).
The main aims of IFAP:
UNESCO focuses primarily on the existence of a striking difference between the so called developed and developing countries. In recent years, however, a “digital divide” between the countries developed. IFAP represents a harmonizing element whose main objective is to reduce or eliminate the existing gap by helping the countries which find themselves on the “wrong side” of the divide, regardless of whether they are developed or still developing countries. Particular attention is given to the needs of women, youth, elderly people and to the need of people with disabilities.
The main duties of IFAP:
· To promote reflections and debates on the ethical, legal and social challenges that come together with the information society (on national and international level).
· To promote access to information in the public domain through the organization, digitalization and preservation of information.
· To promote education, training and lifelong learning in the area of communication, information and informatics.
· To promote the use of international standards and best practices in communication, information and informatics within the competence of UNESCO.
· To encourage the establishment of information networks on local, national, regional and international level.