London Declaration Urges More Transparency

9 September 2010

Calls for more transparency as an integral part of the effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are continuing, but the message may not be getting through.                               

Participants in a London conference Sept 6 issued the  “London Declaration for Transparency: the Free Flow of Information and Development.” The document resulted from a conference organized by Article XIX and attended by more than 70 representatives of civil society groups from 13 countries and intergovernmental organizations. 

The London Declaration outlines concrete steps that governments and other actors should implement in order to ensure that the MDGs are achievable in the next five years, according to Article XIX’s press release.

This was another attempt to influence the high-level United Nations meeting to be held Sept. 20-22  in New York to examine progress made towards achieving the MDGs and set out a roadmap for the final five years of the  process.

Seven pro-transparency groups Aug. 10 urged governments to include specific commitments to the free flow of information as they review goals this September. (See previous article.)

A recent analysis on an Article XIX website tracking the pre-meeting negotiations, however, says that the number of references to “accountability,” “transparency,” “information” and “civil society” in the Outcome Document for the summit “has decreased” in the four drafts between May 31 and Sept. 8.

The London Declaration provides 23 recommendations, based on discussions at the two-day conference held Aug. 24-25.

Among other things, the declaration urges adoption and effective implementation of national  laws, regulations and policies on access to information. creation of  “an enabling legal, regulatory and public policy framework for the media,” and publication of comprehensive, timely and comparable information on aid policies, performance, and financial flows.

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Filed under: IFTI Watch


In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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