International Day for Universal Access to Information - Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Event "Open Talks"
Open Talks - Toluca, Mexico
Date: 19 - 20 September 2019
Venue: Edificio Redalyc, Ciudad Universitaria, Cerro de Coatepec s/n, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Estado de Mexico
Latin America has been at the vanguard of the global movement towards laws and systems for public access to information since Colombia adopted the region’s first access to information law in 1985. SDG 16.10 (UN: 2015) obliges signatory countries to ‘ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements’. This new universal commitment to public access to information represents a recognition by the international community that this principle is both a basic human right and a practical requirement for the achievement of all these global development objectives.
Latin America has set an example, making greater progress in this area than any other region of the global South, and by some measures surpassing Europe as well. Yet Latin American experts in the field say current laws and mechanisms in most countries could be further improved, and more support could be provided regionally to ensure that all countries in the hemisphere adopt and implement access to information regimes.
Latin America has been a vanguard to advocate the significance of creating and nurturing “Global Knowledge Commons”, and in that, safeguard the right to information of the citizens, as well as of openness and inclusiveness of knowledge. Even as technical aspects of aspects of an access to information law are extremely important, its implementation and the social impact needs to be discussed further. A fundamental challenge facing the region is the deep socioeconomic ‘digital divide’ skewing patterns of access and understanding of these public information services.
As we usher in the digital revolution, new questions and challenges pertaining to access to information have arisen. Within this context, initiatives such as Ameli-CA answer questions about global desirability of different and non-commercial openness of Knowledge.
The event to be held at UAEMex, Toluca will bring together the founders of AmeliCA and recent members, and create an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved at a year after its launch, build the plan of activities and projects for 2020 including the strategy by AmeliCA in favor of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Bhanu Neupane, Programme Specialist, Communication and Information Sector (CI), Tel.: +33(0)1 45 68 10 83