On the occasion of the South-South Expo in Geneva 22 – 26 November, IPS joined the South South Unit of UNDP to facilitate a communication meeting initiated and hosted by the Government of Brazil. This was the third time that a group of Southern and emerging countries have come together at the invitation of Brazil to reflect upon and exchange about South South flows of information and communication, and the role of the media. The first meeting took place in Rome in November 2009 and the second in September 2010 in New York. A total of twenty four countries have participated in the meetings to date.
An academic overview about the evolution of news and media ownership and flows was presented as a draft white paper to the meeting from Professor of International Communication, Daya Thussu. IPS presented a draft business plan 2011 – 2012 outlining concrete steps towards taking the initiative forward, and including major Southern media networks and players in the initiative.
The positive experience of the IBSA alliance (India, Brazil and South Africa) in creating a space for new media and communication flows was explained to the group. At the last IBSA Summit in Brasilia an Editors Forum with senior media participants from all three countries was convened by IPS and the results were conveyed directly to President Lula, President Zuma and Prime Minister Singh at the close of their Summit. With support from the World Bank and the Government of South Africa, a more elaborated process is being developed towards a second Editors Forum in South Africa during the next IBSA Summit in 2011.
The Geneva meeting concluded by affirming the leadership of Brazil and agreeing that a small task force of like-minded countries from different regions be constituted to take the work forward in an open and dynamic process. Brazil together with IPS and the
South South Unit will visit countries engaged in the initiative in the first part of 2011 to identify or deepen the exchange with national focal points. IPS will convene a small meeting, involving both public and private media, to inform and engage networks and players from the South.
More than four hundred people participated in this edition of the South South Expo organised by UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation and hosted at the headquarters of the International Labour Organization. Read more about the Expo in this IPS story: South Expo Highlights Homegrown Poverty Solutions and download a pdf of the special South-South Solutions: Media Briefs prepared in partnership with IPS news agency for distribution at the meeting.