Rebuilding momentum for the implemention of the South Sudan’s Right of Access to Information
Over 80 South Sudanese stakeholders gathered in Juba on 25th June to identify actions to effectively operationalize the South Sudan Right of Access to Information Act, 2013. Participants included the South Sudan Information Commission, representatives from the government, the parliament, the civil society and the media, as well as independent experts.
The one-day Seminar “Access to Information: Comparative Practices and Opportunities” was organized by UNESCO and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Rule of Law Advisory Section, in close collaboration with the South Sudan Information Commission and the Africa Freedom of Information Centre. It served as an opportunity for civil society groups and national bodies to agree on the need to redouble efforts to make realize access to information in practice.
Nicodemus Ajaik Bior, South Sudan Information Commissioner, noted the need for massive awareness raising campaigns on the right of access to information to make citizens aware about the Act.
Justine Alier De Mayen, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, Communication, Telecommunication and Postal Services, emphasized the importance of access to information for South Sudan’s nation building process.
The South Sudanese Right of Access to Information Act was proclaimed in 2013, right after the country’s independence. However, its implementation has been slowed down by civil-war. Throughout the past years, UNESCO Office in Juba has been supporting the South Sudan Information Commission since its inception in 2016, and it is now setting up for a new cycle of support to operationalize its 3-year strategic plan, which is being finalized with technical assistance from the Africa Freedom of Information Centre.
This project was supported by the Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Journalists.