Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) emphasised its commitment to strengthening the global network of organisations promoting media and information literacy (MIL) education at the closing session of the inaugural Foro de Alfabetizacion Mediatica e Informacional en Latino America y El Caribe (Amilac).

During the final session of the MIL conference for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, DCMF signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico’s television directorate (TV Unam), aimed at creating a partnership to further the core missions of both institutions related to media freedom and MIL.

The MoU was signed by DCMF’s executive chairman, Dr Abdeljalil Alami, and the general director of TV Unam, Ernesto Velasquez Briseno, whose organisation was also the main host and organiser of the forum.

The agreement establishes that committees from both organisations will oversee co-operation in a number of fields, including academic relations, training activities, exchange of information and research, building partnerships with other organisations and promoting the co-production of audio-visual materials in line with both organisations’ values.

The forum concluded with the adoption, in principle, of the Mexico Action Plan, aimed at promoting MIL education in Latin American and Caribbean countries. The declaration is still to be finalised, but the main points included the establishment of the Latin American and Caribbean chapter of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy.

The initial proposal for the action plan called for members of the forum to pressurise policy- and decision-makers at all levels to engage with the issue of MIL education and to start treating MIL as an essential aspect of modern literacy and education as opposed to an afterthought.

The agreement also included the co-operation of MIL networks from different regions, based on the participation of DCMF and other international organisations at the conference.

After being approved during the closing ceremony of the forum, officials announced that the final draft of the action plan would be published in the coming weeks.

At the signing ceremony, Dr Alami stressed that this was the first concrete step in introducing co-operation between organisations in the Arab and Latin American regions. “This is a clear indication of our commitment to implementing the recommendations that have been made at this important meeting.”

His counterpart, Briseno, added: “We have very strong Arabian roots in our country, and so it is a privilege to have this link with Qatar.”

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