International Day for Universal Access to Information - 28 September.

Each year on September 28th, the International Day for Universal Access to Information is observed. This day promotes the idea that every individual around the world has a right to seek and receive information.

This right to information is an essential part of the right to freedom of expression. This includes information at all levels, including local, national, and international. The right to information is essential for decision-making, for participating in a democratic government and enhancing transparency. When citizens have access to information on how they are governed, it leads to open and healthy societies. All of this creates a way to fight corruption.

Despite the importance of access to information, many governments throughout the world continue to limit access. A majority of the world’s states do not consider access to information a fundamental right. These include several countries in Africa and the Middle East. Additionally, many countries have limited access to the internet. Some of them include China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

Access to information also involves ensuring every person can obtain data. This includes those with disabilities, minorities, and individuals in poverty-stricken areas.

On November 17, 2015, UNESCO adopted a resolution to declare September 28th as International Day for Universal Access to Information. The first official observation was held in 2016. In declaring this day, UNESCO hopes that countries around the world would adopt Freedom of Information (FOI) policies.

The theme of the Global Conference in 2022 is “Artificial Intelligence, e-Governance and Access to Information". This conference is set to take place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It will include a high-level opening and an inter-ministerial roundtable on Access to Information and Artificial Intelligence with international experts.

Source: www.un.org


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