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Twelve states sign world's first treaty on access to information

12 States Sign World's First Treaty on Access to Information - What About the Other 35 Council of Europe Member States?

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - 19 June 2009 - 12 European countries - Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia, and Sweden - today became the first states to sign the world's first treaty on access to information - the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents - at a meeting of Ministers of Justice held in Tromso, Norway.

Access Info Europe and ARTICLE 19 today welcomed the leadership shown by these 12 countries, and called the Council of Europe's other 35 Member States to demonstrate their commitment to government transparency by signing and ratifying the Convention.

"Countries like the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands were all present during the negotiation of the treaty. Responding to civil society concerns about the treaty, they argued that a minimum-standard Convention would attract more signatures. Why then have they not signed? Where is their commitment to the public's right to know?" said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info.

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