FG To Ensure Nigeria Returns To #UNESCO Governing Board—The Federal Government says it will do everything humanly possible to ensure that Nigeria returns to UNESCO Governing Board.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris gave the assurance when the Permanent Delegate of Nigeria to UNESCO, Dr Hajo Sani and her team visited him on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to Idris, his Ministry is key in the activities of UNESCO, adding that it will participate fully and effectively.
The minister said he was keen to see Nigeria take advantage of full opportunities made available to Nigeria’s membership at UNESCO, urging that the ministry should always be communicated on any opportunity.
“We will put up our strategy and strengthen our engagements with other member nations to see that Nigeria returns to that seat on the board.
“If there are only 58 members, I don’t see why Nigeria should not be there. I know that we stepped out so that others could participate in the spirit of unity and togetherness.
“But now that we had that holiday, we will go back to that seat at UNESCO. The Ministry will put its thinking cap and engage member nations. We will step up our engagement activities before the time.
“We are very confident that you too will get there, this is because, it is for the good of Nigeria and Africa as a whole,” Idris said.
The minister further said that his ministry was actively involved in media information literacy, promotion of freedom of information, media independence, pluralism and inclusive knowledge.
He added that there was need to have a responsible freedom.
“Even though the government is desirous of ensuring free press and free flow of information, it also requires that those who are in the business of information dissemination do that responsibly.
“Fake news have no place in our culture and existence. This is an appeal to those who practice journalism. It is important to put out only what you know is true,” the minister said.
Speaking, Sani said that the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientations involved in the works of UNESCO in the Communication and Information (CT) Sector.
She stated that Member States work through the Intergovernmental Committees, adding that there are two main Intergovernmental Committees in which Nigeria has been active as expected.
According to her, they are; Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and the Intergovernmental Council of the Information for All Programme (IFAP)
“Nigeria is presently a member of the Intergovernmental Council of the IPDC, until December, 2023,
“Nigeria is also very much involved in the Sector’s programmes under the Committee Programme on the Freedom of Expression, Programme on the Safety of Journalists and the issue of impunity Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Programme.
“There is also a programme to provide a framework for international co-operation and partnerships aimed at building inclusive and sustainable Knowledge Societies.
“UNESCO supports the development of MIL for all to enable people’s ability to think critically and click wisely.The Organization particularly strives to enhance the capacities of policymakers, educators, information, media professionals and others.
“We are also looking forward to the adoption of the Abuja Declaration on Global Financing for Media and Information Literacy,” Sani said.
She also hinted that the 2023 Global MIL Week in Amman, Jordan, from 24-31 October 2023 had been cancelled due to the current crisis in the Middle East, adding that a new date will be announced in due course