International day for universal access to information to be celebrated on September 28
2017 is the second year of UNESCO marking 28 September as the “International Day for Universal Access to Information” (IDUAI).
On 17 November 2015, UNESCO adopted a resolution (38 C/70) declaring 28 September of every year as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).
IDUAI has particular relevance with the new 2030 development agenda, and in particular with sustainable development goal (SDG) which calls for ensuring public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms.
The celebration for universal access to information kicks-start in Tunisia on 25 September, with a panel event gathering around 250 participants to discuss progress and new initiatives around Tunisia’s Access to Information law.
The country’s legislation on access to information is ranked by specialized observers among the “top-ten” best in the world in terms of its adherence to international standards.
Mr. Frank La Rue, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO is to address the event, among other high-level representatives from government, media and civil society. The event will also bring the opportunity to launch a new Swiss-funded UNESCO project, to facilitate coordination among the civil society organizations to implement the right to information law.
From 27th to 30th of September 2017, UNESCO in partnership with the Information for All Programme (IFAP) will host a Conference under the theme “Overcoming Divides and Achieving the SDGs in Africa” in Balaclava, Mauritius.
This event will consist of plenary sessions, workshops and technical sessions. It will bring together high-level participants from all of the 54 African countries including Presidents/Prime Ministers, Ministers for Information and Communication and Ambassadors to UNESCO.
On 28th of September 2017, the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) will host the second whole-day event “IPDCtalks: Powering Sustainable Development with Access to Information” in UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.
The 'IPDC talks' will be held to highlight and elaborate on the importance of Access to Information for all sustainable development efforts around the world. It will consist of a series of attractive and dynamic talks from global public leaders, prominent journalists, young intellectuals and community leaders.
Also, UNESCO Field Offices in many countries around the world together with local authorities and civil society will be commemorating #AccessToInfoDay by organizing workshops, conferences and public activities including marches and concerts in order to both discuss and raise awareness about freedom of information, the promotion of open access and the importance of adopting the right to information laws. These targeted and widespread activities will ensure that the day of 28th September is used to engage citizens and public authorities as to the importance of the right to information for human existence at both local and global levels.
UNESCO hopes that the marking of 28 September as the “International Day for Universal Access to Information” will provide for more countries adopting FOI legislation, developing policies for multilingualism and cultural diversity in the cyberspace, and ensuring that women and men with disabilities are integrated.
These steps will further strengthen progress towards the 2030 Development agenda and pave the way for the creation of knowledge societies worldwide.