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UNESCO Observatory on the Information Society
New information and communication technologies brought about major repercussions on all aspects of life. This prompted UNESCO’s Member States to mandate the Organization in November 1997 to keep them abreast with these new ethical, legal and societal challenges by establishing a permanent international monitoring mechanism.

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New information and communication technologies brought about major repercussions on all aspects of life. This prompted UNESCO’s Member States to mandate the Organization in November 1997 to keep them abreast with these new ethical, legal and societal challenges by establishing a permanent international monitoring mechanism.

In October 1998, the first skeleton of the UNESCO Observatory on the Information Society was presented during the second international congress on Infoethics, held in Monaco. The Observatory initial objective was to provide updated information on the evolution of the following issues in different parts of the world:Since then the UNESCO online Observatory underwent many structural changes and was further developed into an Internet-based gateway to online resources on ethical, legal, socio-cultural and policy issues of the Information Society.

The current UNESCO mandate commits the Observatory to pay due attention to the impact of globalization on knowledge societies through the collection of pertinent information and monitoring of main trends. As a part of UNESCO’s strategy to build knowledge societies and in compliance with UNESCO’s function as “clearing house”, the Observatory aims at monitoring the development of knowledge societies by:
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