THE Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the timely establishment of a UNESCO Category 2 Institute for Media and Information Literacy (MIL) in Nigeria.
The Minister stated this during a bilateral meeting with the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, Dr Tawfik Jelassi on the sidelines of UNESCO’s 42nd General Conference in Paris, France.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Deputy Director of Press of the Ministry and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
Idris said Federal Government’s pledge to establish and host the Institute emerged from the 2022 UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week, hosted by Nigeria, in October 2022.
He added that it was also endorsed by a Resolution of the 216th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board, in May 2023.
“Nigeria is preparing to step down from the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), after six years on the Council.
“But at same time, we are making a bid for election into the Intergovernmental Council of the Information for all Programme (IFAP).
“We are determine to ensure that Nigeria benefits from all existing opportunities in the UNESCO Communications and Information Sector, including the development of Community Radio, which is one of UNESCO’s ongoing priorities.
“This is a sector that I am deeply passionate about. I therefore have a responsibility to make it better, and UNESCO will get my full support and cooperation,” Idris said.
The Minister disclosed his vision of restoring trust and credibility to government communications in Nigeria.
He said the Federal Government had also kick start a national conversation about Nigerian values and identity, as part of a national reorientation campaign
This, he added is a priority for the President Bola Tinubu les administration.
Idris expressed gratitude to Ambassador Hajo Sani for her diligent representation of Nigeria’s interests at UNESCO, and the key role she played in facilitating Nigeria’s hosting of the 2022 UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Week.
He also commented her on the plans for Nigeria to host the first UNESCO MIL Institute in the world.
Responding, Jelassi commended Nigeria’s active participation in UNESCO, and pledged to continue to support the country to take full advantage of all opportunities for the development of its information and communication space.
He outlined UNESCO’s ongoing work in various areas, from promoting press freedom around the world, to supporting the development of community radio, and the ongoing work to harmonize national efforts to fight misinformation, disinformation and hate speech.
Jelassi disclosed that UNESCO has just launched a report titled, ‘Guidelines for the Governance of Digital Platforms’, which emphasizes a multi-stakeholder approach to safeguard freedom of expression and access to information.
He also stressed the need for Nigeria to follow up on the ‘Abuja Declaration’, describing it as a very significant opportunity for the country.
Idris had earlier joined other members of the Nigerian delegation, including the Leader of the delegation, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman to participate in the opening ceremony for the 42nd session of the UNESCO General Conference. (NAN)
November 9, 2023 @ 7:42 GMT|