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UNESCO and WSIS Action Lines

The Geneva Plan of Action, which was agreed at the first WSIS Summit in 2003, identified eighteen areas of activity in which governments, civil society entities, businesses and international organizations could work together to achieve the potential of ICTs for development.

UNESCO is responsible for six of Action Lines as listed below:

Access to information and knowledge (C3)

© Aleksey Buzuk

Action Line C3 is concerned with access to information and knowledge.  This cuts across many dimensions of the WSIS outcomes, and many aspects of UNESCO’s mandate to promote inclusive Knowledge Societies – from promoting equitable access to infrastructure to freedom of information, from supporting national strategies for ICTs within development to opening access to scientific information.  >> More 

E-learning (C7)

© bonnie jacobs

Everyone should have the necessary skills to benefit fully from the Information Society. Therefore capacity building and ICT literacy are essential. ICTs can contribute to achieving universal education worldwide, through delivery of education and training of teachers, and offering improved conditions for lifelong learning, encompassing people that are outside the formal education process, and improving professional skills. Action to remedy historic gender inequalities in education also forms an important part of the Millennium Development Goals and the goals of the UNESCO-led Education for All initiative. >> More 

E-science (C7)


Action Line C7 has focused particularly on access to scientific information and the diffusion of scientific content and knowledge. This addresses an important challenge for researchers in developing countries that is caused by the high access costs of scientific journals and poor internet connections in their countries. >> More

Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content (C8)

© oneclearvision

Cultural and linguistic diversity, while stimulating respect for cultural identity, traditions and religions, is essential to the development of an Information Society based on the dialogue among cultures and regional and international cooperation. It is an important factor for sustainable development. UNESCO emphasises the value of cultural and linguistic diversity in all its work.  It is also concerned to ensure that new media platforms make content available which is relevant to the lives of all communities and individuals, including the poor and marginalised. >> More

Media (C9)


Freedom of expression and the free flow of information, ideas and knowledge are essential for the information society and beneficial to development. Media have an essential role in the development of the information society and are recognized as an important contributor to freedom of expression and plurality of information. >> More

Ethical dimensions of the Information Society (C10)

© suemack

The Information Society should be subject to universally held values and promote the common good and to prevent abusive uses of ICTs. UNESCO is committed to the full implementation of the fundamental freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international rights Covenants.  Since 1997, it has already organized a series of events enabling specialists and decision-makers to address the ethical dimensions of the Information Society. >> More

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