2016 is the first year of UNESCO marking 28 September as the “International Day for Universal Access to Information” (IDUAI). On 17 November 2015, UNESCO Member States adopted a resolution (38 C/70) declaring 28 September of every year as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).
More than 20 countries are commemorating this very first #AccessToInfoDay by organizing conferences and public activities to discuss and raise awareness about freedom of information, promotion of open access and the importance of adopting right to information laws, among some of the relevant topics.
The Islamic Republic of Iran marked the occasion on the 2nd of October by organizing a celebration at the Bureau of Media Studies and Planning in Tehran.
Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office delivered UNESCO’s message at the opening of the event: “Over two thousand years ago, Artistotle wrote: “All human beings by nature desire to know”. To know requires having access to information – this fundamental human right is part of what makes us human. It is essential for inclusion and dialogue; it is a foundation for the rule of law and good governance; and it is vital for crafting new paths to sustainable development. This is the message of the first International Day for Universal Access to Information, and this is why access to information is a key driver for taking forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to promote human rights and dignity, to eradicate poverty, and to build inclusive knowledge societies”, said Ms. Kuisch Laroche.
She went on to say that UNESCO believes that knowledge societies must be built on four pillars: freedom of expression; universal access to information and knowledge; respect for cultural and linguistic diversity; and quality education for all. “UNESCO’s thrust to create knowledge societies is premised on the conviction that universal access to information is key to building peace, sustainable economic development, and intercultural dialogue”, said the UNESCO Representative. “Equal and universal access to information is a powerful engine for positive change. It widens opportunities to overcome inequalities, to reach the marginalized, to create and share knowledge, to discover other cultures, and to strengthen the foundations of democratic institutions.”
Dr. Nasiri, Secretary-General of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, underscored the importance of universal access to information and scientific knowledge and mentioned that the Islamic Republic of Iran was committed to reaching the sustainable development goals and ensuring access to quality education for all.
Other speakers included Dr. Hossein Entezami, Deputy of Press Affairs of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance; Mr. Mahmoudi, Advisor of the Organization of Technology and Information; Ms. Mohebhosseini, Head of the Education Department in the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO; Dr. Namakdoost Tehrani, Head of the Center of Education and Research at Hamshahri and and Dr. Mohammad Mehdi Forghani, Professor of Allame Tabatabei University.
For more information about the International Day for Universal Access to Information, please see: http://en.unesco.org/iduai2016