Kingston, 29 March 2021 – The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution proclaiming October 24 to 31 each year as the Global Media and Information Literacy Week.
The idea for the declaration of the Global Media and Information Literacy Week within the United Nations system was first proposed by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
The proposal was previously accepted by UNESCO’s Executive Board and by its Commission on Communication and Information.
Minister Grange said she was “very happy that the draft resolution was adopted by consensus” during a meeting of the UN General Assembly last week in New York.
100 members states co-sponsored the Global Media and Information Literacy Week resolution.
Minister Grange said the proclamation of the Global Media and Information Literacy Week was “quite timely,” adding that “it will help to address the spread and proliferation of disinformation and misinformation which we have seen, especially in regard to the covid-19 pandemic.”
Making her case at the UNESCO General Conference in 2019, Minister Grange argued that a global declaration and celebration of Media and Information Literacy Week would bring attention to and encourage action to ensure that citizens have the skills to critically analyse and use media and information.
The Minister also said:
“Responsible media and technology play a vital role in promoting democratic values and fostering inclusive societies. Digital literacy is critical in preparing our people for the far-reaching disruptions, displacement and opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution. This is particularly relevant to Small Island Developing States, given our low levels of GDP and labour intensive economies, which are most susceptible to the negative consequences of automation in the short to medium term.
The approval of the declaration of October 24 to 31, as Global Media and Information Literacy Week, would give these important issues the global attention which they need and deserve.”
Minister Grange expressed appreciation to the team at the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport as well as at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and to all the countries who supported the resolution.
The Secretary General of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, Everton Hannam, said it is “really a significant achievement that Jamaica, a Small Island Developing State, has led the process for the proclamation of Global Media and Information Literacy Week. Congratulations to Minister Grange and the Jamaican delegation to UNESCO and the UN who made it a reality.”
Minister Grange said she looked forward to this year’s observation and the various plans and strategies to tackle the issue of disinformation and misinformation, as well as to empower all people and facilitate digital inclusion and global connectivity.