58 Organizations Urge UNESCO To Consult on Public Disclosure Policy

21 December 2016

58 organizations concerned about transparency have urged UNESCO to hold consultations on developing a disclosure policy and to release a draft policy.

UNESCO has been working on a policy for some months, but planned to adopt it as a pilot plan and to re-evaluate it at a later time, according to agency sources. (See FreedomInfo.org report in August). UNESCO has some internal rules on what should be confidential, but there is no disclosure policy resembling a national FOI law.

Consultations, the letter states, “are important for a number of reasons, including to ensure that the final policy reflects the concerns of those for whose benefit it has been developed and to take advantage of the considerable expertise that exists globally on this issue.”

The letter, also signed by 28 individuals, says further:

For such a consultation to be genuine, it must take place early enough in the policy development cycle for the comments received during the consultation to be reflected in the final policy.

We therefore urge UNESCO to release a draft version of its access to information policy as soon as possible rather than trying to reach consensus internally before releasing it, at which point the document would be unduly ‘fixed’ or final for the consultation to be genuine.

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Filed under: IFTI Watch

ABOUT 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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