An interview with Wijayananda Jayaweera, Director, UNESCO's IPDC
The International Programme for the Development of Communication "is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries. It was established in 1980 following a proposal made by the United States of America to mobilize voluntary contributions from industrialized countries to support media development in the developing countries. Only 28% of the countries in the world had democratic systems at the time IPDC was established and by 2000 the percentage went up to 67% thus expanding opportunities for the development of free and pluralistic media in many developing countries. But serious inadequacies of media in these countries continue to prevent people from voicing their democratic aspirations, from sharing and accessing meaningful information and making informed decisions. IPDC mobilizes support to address these issues. Today, IPDC not only provides support for media development projects submitted by the independent media organizations but also seeks an accord to secure a healthy environment for the growth of free and pluralistic media in the developing countries. Since its inception IPDC has channeled US$ 92 million to more than 1100 media development projects in 135 developing countries."