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Global initiatives

As a fundamental part of its promotion of freedom of information, UNESCO facilitates the creation of awareness, the sharing of knowledge, the exchange of ideas and standard-setting at the international level. It does so, for example, through the production and dissemination of publications and the organization of meetings like those featured below:

Freedom of information: a comparative legal survey

UNESCO publication by Toby Mendel: Second edition revised and updated
The importance of the right to information is an increasingly constant refrain in the mouths of development practitioners, civil society, academics, the media and governments. What is this right, is it really a right and how have governments sought to give effect to it?  >> More information

World Press Freedom Day 2010: Freedom of Information: The Right to Know. Brisbane, Australia, 3-4 May 2010

UNESCO’s celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2010 highlighted the importance of freedom of information as an integral part of freedom of expression and its contribution to democratic governance. It fostered reflection and exchange of ideas on freedom of information to advance empowerment, transparency, accountability and the fight against corruption, as well as on the key obstacles that the effective exercise of the right to know faces in today’s digitalised world. >> More information

World Press Freedom Day 2008: Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People. Maputo, 3-4 May 2008

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2008, UNESCO promoted reflection on how media freedom and access to information feed into the wider development objective of empowering people. Empowerment is a multi-dimensional social and political process that helps people gain control over their own lives. This can only be achieved through access to accurate, fair and unbiased information, representing a plurality of opinions, and the means to actively communicate vertically and horizontally, thereby participating in the active life of the community. >> More information

Freedom of Information and Sustainable Development; Sealing the Link, Experts Group Meeting, UNESCO Headquarters, 17-18 March 2008

This two-day meeting, organized by UNESCO at its headquarters in Paris, brought together 20 international experts as well as other participants and observers from the civil society, UNESCO Member States and the Secretariat. Focusing on the link between the realisation of freedom of information and achieving sustainable development, participants shared experiences from around the globe with the aim of drafting strategies to make implementation and advocacy more effective in this area. >> More information

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