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ARTICLE 19 welcomes UNESCO declaration on right to information

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - 4 May 2010 - ARTICLE 19 welcomes the 'Declaration of Brisbane' issued by the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day 2010 Conference on 3 May in Brisbane Australia. The Declaration sets out principles for national governments, media professionals and UNESCO to promote the Right to Information.

Nearly 90 countries around the world have adopted Right to Information laws, most in the past 15 years. The Declaration calls on national governments who have not adopted laws to do so, based on international standards and the principle of maximum disclosure. The Declaration also calls on governments to take measures to ensure that barriers to the Right to Information are removed and that laws are properly implemented, and that governments ensure that the international bodies which they are members of adopt effective and enforceable access rules.

The Declaration also calls on media professionals to raise awareness of the Right to Information and for UNESCO to assist governments, individuals and others in realising the Right to Information as well as UNESCO adopting its own internal rules on accessing information.

"Without a free media, the information people receive is often incomplete, biased, unverifiable, minimal and largely ineffectual," says Dr Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director. "Hand in hand with a free media, the Right to Information changes power dynamics, creating much more responsive and responsible states and governments."

ARTICLE 19 campaigns for the Right to Information in countries around the world. For World Press Freedom Day 2010, ARTICLE 19 published a global snapshot on Free Media and Freedom of Information.

Click here for the Brisbane Declaration
Read ARTICLE 19's Global Snapshot

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