Access to Information in Times of Crisis, UNESCO marks International Day for Universal Access to Information

On 28 September, UNESCO will lead the global observance of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) with a high-level panel discussion highlighting the importance of access to information in saving lives, a series of webinars and the publication of a policy brief.

The publication, The Right to Information in Times of Crisis, part of UNESCO’s World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development series, examines norms and principles concerning the right to information during public health crises, and highlights the importance of free access to information in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also proposes a set of recommendations concerning the right to information in emergency situations.

UNESCO’s high-level event entitled Access to Information – Saving Lives, Building Trust, Bringing Hope, will be streamed online on Monday 28 September, (2pm – 3.30pm Central European Summer Time, CEST). It will start with a message from UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, who will open the High Level Panel which will bring together Lenn Eugene Nagbe, Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism of Liberia, Aziz Abdukhakimov, Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, Xing Qu, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Maria Baron, Global Executive Director of the Directorio Legislativo Foundation and Incoming Co-Chair of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee, and Sinéad McSweeney, Twitter Vice-President in charge of Public Policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The panel will examine issues affecting access to information in times of crisis and constitutional, statutory and policy guarantees for public access to information during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The discussion will also consider the importance of information in protecting lives in times of crisis.

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