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International Day for Universal Access to Information

Wednesday 28 September 2016, by SIGNIS

Paris, September, 28th, 2016 (UNESCO). Today, September, 28th, is the first “International Day for Universal Access to Information”. (IDUAI). 2016 is the first year of UNESCO marking 28 September as the “International Day for Universal Access to Information” (IDUAI).

This year, more than 20 countries are commemorating #AccessToInfoDay by organizing conferences and public activities to discuss and raise awareness about freedom of information, promotion of open access and the importance of adopting right to information laws, among some of the relevant topics.

Universal access to information is bound up with the right to seek and receive information, which is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression. The theme of access was at the heart of the 2016 World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Helsinki.

UNESCO promotes universal access to information and knowledge through its Information for All (IFAP) programme, which assists Member States in harnessing the new opportunities of the information age to create equitable societies through better access to information.

The IDUAI is an outcome of advocacy of the African Platform on Access to Information (APAI) and building on work of FOIAnet. Efforts to produce more open governance have also emerged, such as the multilateral Open Government Partnership, with 69 participating countries.

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.

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