World Experts to Raise Awareness on Role of ICT in Social Transformations


World leading experts in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will hold a meeting in Riga, Latvia, on October 16 and 17, 2013 to raise awareness about the role of technology in social transformations.

 The meeting with the theme ”The Global Meeting of Experts on the Ethical Aspects of Information Society” will discuss issues related to new disparities in the development of knowledge society, respect for freedom of expression on the Internet, and the creation of a fair and multicultural information society.

 The meeting will be jointly organized by United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Information for All Programme (IFAP), the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO.

The organizers said the changes brought about by the rapid development of ICT did not only open tremendous opportunities to humankind but also pose unprecedented ethical challenges. According to them, ensuring that information society is based upon principles of mutual respect and the observance of human rights is one of the major ethical challenges of the 21st century.

The Global Meeting of Experts is another step in an on-going effort of UNESCO’s Information for All Programme (IFAP) to raise awareness of, and reflect upon, societal and ethical challenges related to the use of ICT.

IFAP, building on conclusions from the previous debates, aim to use the meeting to review the progress made by UNESCO and IFAP in the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Action Line C10 “Ethical dimensions of the information society”, and to prepare guidelines for appropriate actions by Member States.

Representatives of the IFAP Council, the IFAP Information Ethics Working Group, National IFAP Committees, UNESCO partner organizations and other stakeholders are expected to attend the meeting.

Prospective participants are required to register by filling the registration form and sending it by email to the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO before August 1, 2013.

The organizing committee called on governments to support the participation of their national experts in order for the broadest expertise to be present at the global meeting. However, the cost of participation for a limited number of representatives from Africa and the Caribbean will be covered by the organizers of the meeting.

In order to benefit from such assistance the application form should be received by the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO before July 1, 2013.