Address by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on ... - unesdoc

Sep 26, 2016 - This is a first such initiative, and I see this as a sign of UNESCO's innovation ... L'UNESCO est particulièrement sensible à l'objectif numéro 16, ...
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Address by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of The First IPDC Talks in the Series Powering Sustainable Development with Public Access to Information

UNESCO, 26 September 2016

M. Neris Germanas, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, Ms Albana Shala, Chairperson of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), M. Lionel Veer Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to UNESCO, Excellencies, Ambassadors and Permanent Delegates to UNESCO, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to express deep condolences to friends and family for the passing of Professor Leonidas Donskis, a historian of ideas, a philosopher, professor at Vytautas Magnus University. I wish to thank the Permanent Delegations of the Netherlands and Lithuania for joining forces with the International Programme for the Development of Communication in hosting these IPDC Talks. This is a first such initiative, and I see this as a sign of UNESCO’s innovation and openness, in taking forward our mission as a laboratory of ideas. The theme of this discussion – “Powering sustainable development with public access to information” resonates at the heart of UNESCO’s mandate, and it is essential to all societies today.

DG/2016/133 – Original: Multilingual

I believe we all share the conviction equal and universal access to information is a powerful engine for positive change. We believe it is a fundamental human right, it is part of what makes us human, it is a foundation for good governance. We believe it is vital for crafting new paths to sustainable development, to reach the marginalized, to discover other cultures, to strengthen the foundations of democratic institutions. Without access to information, there can be no informed decision-making, no informed policy debate, and this is true for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This is why the Paris Climate Agreement calls on all parties to enhance climate change education and public access to information, recognizing its importance to foster change. In a globalizing world, this right must be respected offline and online – drawing on the empowering force of new information and communication technologies, for inclusion and innovation. The information revolution must be a development revolution. This means breaking down all barriers to access, in connectivity, in skills – this is one of the goals of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Digital Development, launched by UNESCO and ITU in 2010, co-chaired by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Mr Carlos Slim. This is the importance of strong freedom of information laws and their effective implementation. This is the importance of protecting the safety of journalists, who play a vital role to ensure full access to information. It is in this spirit that UNESCO created the International Day for Universal Access to Information, which we celebrate on 28 September, to better connect the dots leading

DG/2016/133 - Page 2

to information, and I am confident these IPDC Talks will give new insight on the best way to make it a reality for all. Mesdames et Messieurs, La Déclaration Finlandia, adoptée cette année lors de la Journée mondiale de la liberté de presse à Helsinki, a souligné l'importance de la liberté de l'information pour la mise en œuvre de l’Agenda du développement durable d’ici 2030. L'UNESCO est particulièrement sensible à l'objectif numéro 16, portant sur les sociétés inclusives, et en particulier la cible qui consiste à "Assurer l'accès du public à l'information et à protéger les libertés fondamentales". L'UNESCO a été chargée de suivre les progrès sur cet objectif, en s’appuyant notamment sur les outils de recherche mis au point par le Programme pour le développement de la Communication : • les indicateurs de développement des médias, • les indicateurs du niveau de sécurité des journalistes, • les tendances mondiales de la liberté d'expression, La réussite passe aussi par un lien renforcé entre les d