UNESCO Communication and Information Sector (CI) was established in 1990. CI collaborates with UN agencies, bilateral development agencies, international and regional non-governmental agencies through implementing the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), the Information for All Programme (IFAP) and the Memory of the World Programme devoted to safeguarding and communicating documentary heritage. These programmes are rooted in UNESCO’s Constitution, which requires the Organization to promote the “free flow of ideas by word and image” as protecting freedom of expression is an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity.

The three principal strategic objectives of the Sector’s Programmes are:

  • Promoting the free flow of ideas and universal access to information
  • Promoting the expression of pluralism and cultural diversity in the media and world information networks
  • Promoting access for all to the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Application of ICTs is purposed to enhance the quality of and access to education, build scientific knowledge, promote open access to scientific research results, and empower local communities. CI also promotes free and open source software, open web and open standards, as well as protects and digitizes documentary heritage. It fosters the role of libraries and archives and is responsible for further strengthening of the World Digital Library.