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Knowledge societies

UNESCO fosters the development of modern knowledge societies. Four principles should be implemented: freedom of expression and press freedom, access to information and knowledge for all, education for all as well as cultural diversity. UNESCO prefers the concept of 'knowledge societies' over 'information society'. The focus therefore deliberately is on education and development, and involves ethical, social and political perspectives. Using the plural 'societies' reflects cultural diversity.

Freedom of expression and press freedom

The right to freedom of expression and press freedom is enshrined as a universal, indivisible human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UNESCO is uniquely positioned as an UN organization to protect that right. more...

Access to information and knowledge

Access for all to information and knowledge is central to the creation of knowledge societies. UNESCO contributes to the strengthening of libraries and archives, as to developing information infrastructure at the local level. more...

Education for All

More than 140 million children and young people worldwide do not go to school. Mainly the poorest countries are affected. However, education is the most important asset for the future. At the UNESCO World Education Forum in Dakar in 2000, 164 countries have pledged to achieve six educational goals by 2015. "Education for All" is UNESCO's largest programme. more...

Cultural diversity in knowledge societies 

An understanding of and respect for other cultures is a prerequisite for the sustainable development of a knowledge society. Plurality and diversity are of central importance. They allow citizens to access and create information in their own language and within their own cultural situation. more...



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