The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was born on 16 November 1945. UNESCO has 195 Members and 8 Associate Members and is governed by the General Conference and the Executive Board. The Secretariat, headed by the Director-General, implements the decisions of these two bodies. The Organization has more than 50 field offices around the world and its headquarters are located in Paris.
UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development, and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.
UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures, and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect, and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’s mission and activities.
Agenda Item: ” Fostering Freedom of Speech and Journalistic Liberty in the Face of Disinformation”
Summary of the Item
Media development through freedom of expression contributes to peace, poverty eradication, human rights, and sustainability. By restricting media freedom, people’s needs and desires are significantly subdued. Moreover, a platform for open exchange of thought becomes significantly limited, subsequently leading to poor decision-making and harmful outcomes for the nation. In an attempt at combating disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of governments have adopted legislation to limit journalistic freedom. Moreover, the World Press Freedom Index showcases how media restriction is present within 132 countries as of 2021. Delegates will be encouraged to diplomatically debate the topic at hand given their nation stances, all the while considering prominent aspects such as the safety of journalists.