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The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) awarded a medal to Abdelaziz Abid from the Information Society Division of UNESCO, on the occasion of his retirement for his distinguished service to the international community and especially for his role in promoting the development of library services in developing countries and UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme.

The medal was delivered on his behalf to Ms Samia Gamarti, Director of the National Library of Tunisia, at the closing session of the World Library and Information Congress: 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council in Durban, South Africa on 23rd August 2007. The World Library and Information Congress: 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council is being held in Durban, South Africa, between 19 and 23 August 2007 and focuses this year on the following themes: “Libraries for the future: Progress, Development and Partnerships”. UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, Mr Abdul Waheed Khan, attended this important event and highlighted UNESCO's role in building knowledge societies and the particular role of libraries as pillars of the emerging Information Society, during the UNESCO Open Forum held on 20th, August 2007. Mr Khan also provided an overview of UNESCO's work in the area of information literacy for the IFLA section on Information Literacy. UNESCO has always supported library development worldwide and cooperated with IFLA in this area. This cooperation has resulted in an impressive number of projects and the adoption of Library Manifestos that proved to be instrumental in promoting library development worldwide such as the Manifesto on Public Libraries and the Manifesto on School Libraries that have had particular impact in developing countries.

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