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UNESCO Open Talks mark International Day for Universal Access to Information

18 September 2019

UNESCO will celebrate International Day for Universal Access to Information (observed annually on 28 September) in more than 20 countries this year with a series of Open Talks that will showcase initiatives that improve people’s access to information. The talks will feature powerful testimonies from international public and community leaders, journalists, NGOs, policymakers and digital pioneers.

The theme of this year’s celebration, Access to Information: Leaving No One Behind!, highlights the need for information to achieve sustainable development for all and enable informed citizens to advocate for their rights such as the right to education, health care, gender equality and justice. UNESCO’s Open Talks events will demonstrate how access to information is vital to the achievement of all 17 internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals.

An international Open Talks event will be held in Lima, Peru, on 27 September, while two regional versions will take place in Toluca, Mexico, for Latin America and the Caribbean (19 and 20 September), and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Asia Pacific Region (12 September). National sessions will be organized in more than 20 countries.

As ever more countries adopt laws that favour the rights of citizens to access government information, the Open Talks will help take stock of progress in this area, recognized in Sustainable Development Goal 16.10, which calls for “public access to information and fundamental freedoms.”

UNESCO, which has been monitoring progress in both legislation and implementation of this right, will share its findings during the Open Talks events.

Discussions will also address the impact of emerging technologies on the exercise of the right to information and ways to reduce persistent digital divides that still affect many rural communities and, in some contexts, discriminate against women, migrants and other population groups.

UNESCO has been observing International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) since 2016.

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For more information, visit: https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/accesstoinformationday

Follow the live webcast of Open Talks Lima, Peru

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