The theme chosen for the 2021 International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) celebrated yearly on 28 September is “The Right to Know – Building Back Better with Access to Information.” It will highlight the fact that the public’s need for accurate and reliable information has never been stronger than now, as countries’ struggle to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic rebuild communities and institutions.
UNESCO and partner institutions will host six online webinars for IDUAI, on 28 and 29 September that will focus on the central role of access to information legislation and its implementation in operating strong institutions that contribute to the public good and sustainable development and the need to strengthen international cooperation in promoting and implementing the right to information as a fundamental human right. These virtual discussions will also address best practices, new approaches, regionals specificities, and the importance of efficient and independent oversight bodies, open data, and challenges in the digital era.
The 2021 International Day for Universal Access to Information has also been designed to mobilize governments, civil society and decision-makers to meet the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development, notably the 16th Goal which calls for the promotion of “just, peaceful and inclusive societies.” by mobilizing governments, decision makers and civil society.
Finally, the event will discuss recommendations to update UNESCO Policy Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Governmental Public Domain Information and launch the start of global consultations for a universal declaration to be adopted in the course of 2022 in support of Access to Information as an essential driver for sustainable development.
UNESCO’s IDUAI partners are: Freedom of Information Advocates Network (FOIAnet), Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD), the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC), Article 19, Open Government Partnership (OGP), Access Info Europe, National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Personal Data Protection of Mexico (INAI), International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), and two UNESCO intergovernmental programmes, the Information for All Programme (IFAP) and the International Programme for the Development of Communication.