International Day for Universal Access to Information
Recognizing the significance of access to information, the 74th UN General Assembly proclaimed 28 September as the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) at the UN level in October 2019. The day had been proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference in 2015, following the adoption of the 38 C/Resolution 57 declaring 28 September of every year as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).
IDUAI 2020 will be focus on to the right to information in times of crisis and on the advantages of having constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information to save lives, build trust and help the formulation of sustainable policies through and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.
UNESCO and its intergovernmental programs - the International Programme for Development of Communication and the Information for All Programme - provide a platform and frame for all the stakeholders to participate in international discussions on policy and guidelines in the area of access to information. Both programs also enable positive environment for ATI to flourish through the development of projects aimed to strengthen open science, multilingualism, ICTs for disabled and marginalized, and media and information literacy.
Concept Note for the celebration of IDUAI in 2020
The celebration of 28 September 2020 will serve as an opportunity to call on Member States to enact and fully implement Right to Access to Information laws, by showing their unique value in times of crisis.
International Conference postponed
In view of the current health measures in place, several events planned around the world will be held online.
An international conference is also being planned in Tashkent, with the support of the Government of Uzbekistan. Additional information on the dates of the international conference will be announced later this year.
IDUAI’s Celebrations in 2020
During the IDUAI 2020, participants will advocate for sound constitutional, statutory and policy guarantees for access to information and their implementation in times of crisis. The endorsement of principles related to the right to information in crisis management will be complemented by discussions on the role of various stakeholders in that regard.
The celebrations will also showcase the impact of proactive disclosure of information on health, education and inclusive and gender-sensitive initiatives. When authorities fail to proactively share health-related information and data or block access to such information, populations are susceptible to adverse impacts and cannot fully enjoy their right to health. Informing citizens in times of crisis should be an integral component of any campaign aimed to address health emergencies. Policies and practices that could be put in place to advance public access to information, will be the second theme of the IDUAI 2020.
- Theme announcement (PDF)
Key Events Commemorating International Day for Universal Access to Information 2020
28 September: High-level Online Panel, “Access of Information – Saving lives, Building Trust, Bringing Hope!”
To launch the 2020 International Day for Universal Access to Information and its themes, UNESCO will organize a high-level online panel, “Access of Information – Saving lives, Building Trust, Bringing Hope!,” set to take place online on the 28th of September. The online panel will open with statements from the UNESCO representative; it will also include statements made by representatives of the Liberian and Uzbek governments on the importance of the day, as well as interventions from our UN partners, followed by Open Talks session.
Webinar, “Access to Information, transparency and openness are the international standard which is taking forward Agenda 2030 in times of crisis”
Access to Information, transparency and openness are the international standard which is taking forward Agenda 2030 in times of crisis is a webinar organized together with the Open Government Partnership. The webinar will address the role of the access to information legislations on crisis management and inequality reduction.
Webinar, “Access to Information implementation and Crisis Resolution during COVID-19 Outbreak”
“Access to Information implementation and Crisis Resolution during COVID-19 Outbreak” is organized with the Information Commissioners International Conference. The webinar will examine how access to information can save lives in times of crises, with special attention drawn to the role of digital technology in implementation processes and the future of right to information.
Webinar, “Measuring SDG 16.10.2”
Organized with the Global Forum for Media Development, the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Program, the webinar will focus on how monitoring and reporting on progress on access to Information can provide meaningful insights for the achievement of SDGs. The webinar will also consider the effects of monitoring and reporting on planning economic development and mitigating health crises.
- Proclamation of 28 September as the "International Day for the Universal Access to Information"
2015, 38th Session, General Conference, Resolution 38 C/70
- Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- Colombo Statement (2018)
- Brisbane Declaration
- Dakar Declaration
- Finlandia Declaration
- Maputo Declaration
- New Delhi Declaration
- Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Analysis on SDG Indicator 16.10.2 in 2019 Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) - brochure
- Access to Information: a New Promise for Sustainable Development (UNESCO publication, 2019)
- UNESCO SDG 16.10.2 Questionnaire and Methodology (UNESCO website, 2020)
- DISINFODEMIC Deciphering COVID-19 disinformation & DISINFODEMIC: Dissecting responses to COVID-19 disinformation
- UNESCO Media and Information Literacy resources
For more documents, visit UNESCO Freedom of Information list of documents.
- African Platform on Access to Information
- Open Government Partnership
- Global Media Forum for Development
- Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 16.10
For more websites, visit UNESCO Freedom of Information list of websites.