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Author: Olga Komarova | 14. October 2019

The right to seek, receive, and impart information is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression, as recognised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

On September 30th, in a historical declaration for all states and organisations who fight for these freedoms, and for every citizen who could potentially benefit from them, the General Assembly proclaimed the 28th of September as the International Day for Universal Access to Information.

This achievement is a reflection of the continuous effort of civil society and development partners who strive to create awareness of the importance of this issue as the backbone of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a basic right for healthy citizenship. Information is a valuable tool for measuring and progressing the realisation of the Sustainable Agenda. Universal access to information means we, the citizens, are the owners of information. This allows for an active citizenry that is both involved in reaching these goals and holds its government accountable in order to make it possible.

This annual international recognition advances the work that has been done since 2015, when Member States of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at its General Conference in Paris in 2015, unanimously adopted Resolution 38 C/70, which proposed this same date to create awareness on Universal Access to Information. What many states have been working on for the past years, will now become a reality for over 130 countries.

With this proclamation, The United Nations General Assembly will create the biggest global platform for Governments, civil society organisations, citizens and development partners to reflect on the importance of access to information

The draft resolution was presented by Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ukraine, and was co-sponsored by 23 other countries. This attainment, however will allow journalists, audiences, policy makers, and civil society as a whole to continue expanding the Right to Information all over the world.

Organisations like GFMD will continue working in every aspect involved in this basic Human Right, from journalist safety, to gender diversity in the media, internet governance, and much more, and will make sure that this date celebratedsthe progress made and highlights the challenges that remain moving forward.


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