Jimmy Carter Presses for Greater Access to Information in the Americas

8 May 2009

Sao Paulo Gives Jimmy Carter Highest Award in Recognition of Human Rights

Former US President Jimmy Carter publicly pressed for widespread support for Brazil’s pending transparency law last week. The government has pledged to pass an access to information law this year, as reported previously by freedominfo. On Sunday, May 3rd, Carter was given the Ordenm do Ipiranga Award by Sao Paulo Governor Jose Serra, recognizing Carter’s work on human rights and democracy promotion in the region. The next day, Carter visited with Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, as part of a South American tour promoting transparency and open government in the region.

President Carter’s visit to Brazil came as part of his South American trip centered on promoting access to information in the region. The Carter Center hosted a conference in Lima, Peru from April 28-30 in collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS), the Andean Commission of Jurists, and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. The conference featured over 100 participants from government, civil society, and media outlets from 20 different countries. The event was a continuation of the International Conference on the Right to Public Information, which took place in February 2008 and which resulted in the publication of the Atlanta Declaration and Action Plan for the advancement of the right to know. The Carter Center will also be producing a plan of action as a result of the Lima Conference with recommendations on international FOI advocacy and implementation.

Following the conference in Lima, Carter then traveled to Ecuador, meeting with President Rafael Correa, then to Bolivia, meeting with Evo Morales and hosting an event on the culture of peace and democracy in the Americas, organized in part by Bolivias La Paz University (Colegio de Politlogos) in the countrys capital. Brazil was Jimmy Carter’s final stop, where he requested a commitment for greater access to public information, pushing the government and Brazil’s civil society to keep the transparency movement focused on the final passage and implementation of the law.


The Carter Center

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Andean Commission of Jurists

Trust for the Americas, Organization of American States (OAS)


Carter Center Conference to Address Right of Access to Information in the Americas, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, April 28, 2009.

Jimmy Carter in Brazil Gets Medal and Asks More Transparency, Written by Newsroom, Brazil Magazine, May 5, 2009.

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