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UNESCO supports policy dialogue on Media and Information Literacy at the International Conference on Media and Conflict (ICMC 2020) in Pakistan

Islamabad, 11-12 February 2020: The second International Conference on Media and Conflict was organized by the Pakistan Peace Collective under the auspices of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at the Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad. The conference brought together national and international organizations, researchers and practitioners to deliberate on 'peaceful coexistence in the digital space'.

The objective of the conference was to promote dialogue and support policymaking on digital and media literacy as part of the Government of Pakistan's 'Digital Pakistan' initiative. As a partner of the conference, UNESCO provided strategic input in panel sessions, and will continue to contribute to the resource pool in the long term institutionalization and policymaking on media and information literacy.

Over the course of two days more than a thousand students, journalists, academics, media professionals and government officials attended the conference. The audience took part in interactive discussions on a range of topics including fact checking, digital divide, digital perspectives from South Asia, successful approaches to teaching digital literacy, online spaces and preventing extremism, information disorder and media and information literacy for sustainable development and human rights. The conference prompted a constructive debate on education reform and capacity building of teachers. In particular participants echoed the need for ensuring inclusiveness and giving special attention to disenfranchised groups under initiatives such a 'Digital Pakistan' for it to be a driver for sustainable development.

The conference was inaugurated by the President of Pakistan Mr. Arif Alvi. In the plenary session on global challenges in the online space, UNESCO representative in Pakistan Ms. Patricia McPhillips emphasized the need for evidence based policy making for the internet and online spaces, based on principles of human rights, openness, accessibility and a multi-stakeholder approach.

The conference featured dedicated sessions and a workshop on disinformation, media and information literacy and global best practices. Mr. Ricardo de Guimaraes Pinto, Program specialist for UNESCO's Information for All Program (IFAP) presented UNESCO's composite concept of media and information literacy and available policy guidelines and curricula. Mr. de Guimaraes Pinto also shared platforms such as UNESCO-led Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) and the UNESCO/UNAOC-MILID Network, and encouraged interested institutions to explore opportunities for collaboration (See UNESCO resources at: https://en.unesco.org/themes/124335/publications/all)

The research volume generated from the conference will be used as a starting point to develop a network that can advise the Higher Education Curriculum Review Committee of Pakistan on developing/adapting academic material on media and information literacy.

UNESCO Islamabad's partnership with the Pakistan Peace Collective is the result of a national conference organized by UNESCO IFAP in September 2019 in Islamabad, on Media and Information Literacy to Prevent Violent Extremism.

Read more about the conference at: ICMC | Photo App

For more information, please contract: ma.shah@unesco.org
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