Carter Center: Access to information is a fundamental human right

March 31, 2008

Last week, participants in the International Conference on the Right to Public Information released the Atlanta Declaration and Plan of Action for the Advancement of the Right of Access to Information. The Atlanta Declaration sets out the group’s findings, lays out key principles, and sets out a plan of action to advance access to information as a fundamental human right.

The principles include:

1. Access to information is a fundamental human right.

2. All states should enact legislation to give effect to the right of access to information.

3. The right of access to information applies to all intergovernmental organizations, including the United Nations, international financial institutions, regional development banks, and bilateral and multilateral bodies. These public institutions should lead by example and support others efforts to build a culture of transparency.

[See the rest of the principles and the plan of action here]

The plan of action sets out steps for international and regional bodies, donors, states and corporate, professional, and civil society organizations to support access to information all over to the world.

The Declaration comes as a result of the International Conference on the Right to Public Information sponsored by The Carter Center in February. The conference brought together representatives from key stakeholder groups – governments, donors, media, civil society, private sector, and academia. You can hear The Carter Center’s Laura Neuman discuss the conference and the then-forthcoming report by listening to the podcast of the panel on international transparency at Washington College of Law’s Collaboration on Government Secrecy‘s First Annual Freedom of Information Day Celebration, held during Sunshine Week.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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