UNESCO Committee OKs Designation of Sept. 28

12 November 2015

The Communications and Information Commission of UNESCO on Nov. 11 discussed and approved a proposal to designate Sept. 28 as International Day for the Universal Access to Information.

The resolution is expected to be approved by the UNESCO General Conference during its meetings in Paris Nov. 3-18.

Minutes from the committee meeting indicate that the Chairperson, Dr. Abdulla El Reyes (United Arab Emirates), opened the discussion on item 4.23 – Proclamation of 28 September as the “International Day for the Universal Access to Information (38 C/70).”

The representative from Morocco introduced the item. Guy Berger, director of the UNESCO Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, made a short presentation on the proposal, which was submitted by Angola, Morocco and Nigeria.

The minutes say that the following countries took the floor: Egypt, Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania, Argentina, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malaysia, Thailand, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, China, India, Sudan, Nigeria, Iraq, Republic of Zambia, and Vietnam.

The Executive Board of UNESCO Oct. 19 adopted a resolution recommending official recognition of Sept. 28, which has been celebrated as “Right to Know Day” since its creation in 2002 in Sofia, Bulgaria, at a conference of freedom of expression advocates from 15 countries. The event also spawned the Freedom of Information Advocates Network.

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