India first developing nation to chair UN forum on media

New Delhi : India Thursday broke the glass ceiling to become the first developing country to head the 39-nation council of the International Programme for Development of Communication (IPDC), a UN body that promotes free and pluralistic media.

Raghu Menon, secretary in the information and broadcasting ministry, was elected as chairman of the inter-governmental council of the IPDC.

India will be chair of the council till its next session in 2012.

It is the first time a developing country will be the chair of the governing body of the IPDC since it was founded three decades ago.

India has contributed $1.4 million to the IPDC programme since its inception and is strongly committed to the fund and its multifarious programmes.

The country’s candidature was endorsed by the Asia Pacific Regional Group and by countries from Africa, Arab and Latin American Region.

India won the election with 23 out of 37 votes against Switzerland who got 14 votes.

The IPDC is the only multilateral forum in the UN system that is designed to mobilise the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries.

The inter-governmental council of the IPDC implements a wide array of national, regional and inter-regional projects in the areas of promotion of freedom of expression and media pluralism, development of community media, capacity building and promotion of international partnership.

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