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UNESCO Working Group on Information Accessibility (WGIA) Hosts Global Gathering - 28 September 2021

Updated: Sep 7

2nd Annual Artificial Intelligence for Information Accessibility (AI4IA) Conference Highlights the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI)


The UNESCO Working Group on Information Accessibility (WGIA) is set to host its 2nd Annual Artificial Intelligence for Information Accessibility (AI4IA) Conference bringing together global experts to draw attention to the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI). Recognised annually on the 28th of September, this year's themes are “What We Know about our Right to Know” and "The Right to Know - Building Back Better with Access to Information". The theme will highlight the role of access to information laws and their implementation to build back strong institutions for the public good and sustainable development, as well as to strengthen the right to information and international cooperation in the field of implementing this human right.


This year’s event is hosted in collaboration with the Kule Institute for Advanced Studies (KIAS) and the AI for Society (AI4S), both at University of Alberta, Canada, the International Centre for Information Ethics (ICIE), Future Africa at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, the Centre for New Economic Diplomacy (CNED) in ORF, India and the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica, all under the auspices of the UNESCO Caribbean Office and the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa.


This event provides an opportunity for open discourse involving participants from academia, civil society, private sector and government on the critical topic of information accessibility which is so very important in light of information dynamics happening all over the world,” said WGIA Chairman, Cordel Green.


To allow for better global participation, wider reach, and greater inclusivity in the program, the conference will consist of two components, hosted on the Gather.town platform, a social platform that creates virtual spaces to bring people together:

  • Pre-recorded speaker presentations that will be available for on-demand viewing from 27 September 2021 at 00:00 GMT. These will be available for a limited time on the platform and accessible to all regions of the world. 


  • Live Salon Discussions will be scheduled for 28 September 2021. These are interactive sessions intended to simulate the informal networking, thought-provoking discussion, and allow speakers and participants to gather on the interactive platform and engage with one another. 


The combination of pre-recorded sessions and live interactive discussions at set times throughout the day was to enable maximum participation from people across the globe giving as many people access to this important information", said AI4IA Conference Chair, Samridhi Arora. "We have also planned a special session with demonstrations dedicated to showcasing accessibility technologies for people with disabilities.


Registration is now open and we invite you to join us in Gather.town to engage to speakers from around the world on how AI can be made inclusive, thereby enabling the widest cross-section of society.


You can find out more information and register at https://www.i-c-i-e.org/ai4ia.


About the International Day for Universal Access to Information


Recognising the significance of access to information, the 74th UN General Assembly proclaimed 28 September as the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) at the UN level in October 2019. The day had been proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference in 2015, following the adoption of the 38 C/Resolution 57 declaring 28 September of every year as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI). For more information visit: https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/accesstoinformationday





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