Ensuring the access of all citizens to government information and to essential information for human development is a must for every democratic society.

Koichiro Matsuura

Recognizing the right to information as a fundamental right, the 74th UN General Assembly proclaimed 28 September as the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) at the UN level in October 2019. The day had been proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference in 2015, following the adoption of the 38 C/Resolution 57.

Several concrete measures to promote access to knowledge in cyberspace are proposed by UNESCO within the framework of its Recommendation to guide both the debate and action by the involved international instances in this domain.

Information as tool of Knowledge

Despite this age of globalization has facilitated interactions between nations, economies and people, it also has led to side effects such as marginalization. It is up to international institutions and national authorities to ensure that the spread of new information technologies and communication be addressed to everybody.

To this aim, member States should establish and support national policies to promote multilingualism and universal access. In addition, Internet access, considered as a public information service, should be encouraged by the adoption of appropriate policies.

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information. This right is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression. 

Preserve the access to information means also preserve people’s right to filter the informations, in order to protect themselves against advertising, fake news or politicians who use the media to just control the flow of information.