International Day for Universal Access to Information

The 28th of September each year is dedicated to the International Day for Universal Access to Information. Originally declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2015 the day found great deal of interest from government bodies and non-governmental organisations resulting in the United Nations finally adopting it in 2019.

The day itself shows great importance, since it is supposed to spread awareness and teach the inalienability of ‘the right to know’ worldwide. As the UN stated on its website: “universal access to information is a cornerstone of healthy and inclusive knowledge societies”.

Only an educated society can make self-conscious decisions. One of the best examples for this are elections that require insights more than anything to hold one’s government accountable. This example also illustrates the significance of media, which is on one hand distributing information to society and on the other hand also is depending on the ability to be given those.

The right to freedom of expression, constituting the freedom of press, is fundamentally expressed and defined by information being distributed freely and transparently. Especially the Covid-19 pandemic has shown how relevant it is to have structures that we can rely on and that need to be improved.

Each year a different theme is presented by the UNESCO to be heard at the Global Conference. This year’s focus is on “Artificial Intelligence, e-Governance and Access to Information”, taking place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The hosts aim to create an environment where it’s possible to discuss AI’s benefits as well as its risks.

In order to reach the Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDG 16) faster, the main purpose of the day is to find sustainable solutions. For that cause it is a necessity to have and build inclusive and liable institutions, so access to information for everyone can be granted at every cost.

Author: Lorena Raub, University of Passau, Germany

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Попередня Наступна