The rapid development of the new media brings with it opportunities and challenges. It presents numerous possibilities for developing education, science, culture and communication but also risks: a widening "digital gap" between industrialised and developing countries, the marginalisation of parts of the population within industrialised countries, cultural and linguistic homogenisation, and conflicts between public and commercial interests.
UNESCO provides a forum for reflection and debate on the societal, cultural, ethical and legal implications of information and communication technologies. This issue is one of the priorities of the "Information for All Programme". Germany is represented on the Intergovernmental Council of the Programme. The "Information for All Programme" promotes the drafting of political strategies and international standards for access to new information technologies and their use.