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Transparency, independent media are vital for global development plan

A woman picks vegetables near a residential compound under construction in Zhejiang province, China, 17 January 2014
A woman picks vegetables near a residential compound under construction in Zhejiang province, China, 17 January 2014

REUTERS/William Hong

195 civil society organisations from around the world are calling on the United Nations (UN) to put government accountability and independent media at the centre of a new framework for global development. The joint statement comes ahead of a meeting of the UN Open Working Group for Sustainable Development Goals, which takes place in New York this week - and will include further discussions on governance.

The UN is currently working to devise a global development agenda for after 2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals, which will set worldwide priorities for development in the coming decades. In the statement - coordinated by ARTICLE 19 and the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) - organisations from 77 countries on all 5 continents say access to information and media freedom are vital elements for a future development plan. Systems that allow people to hold governments accountable are fundamental to achieving economic growth, social equality and environmental sustainability.

Read ARTICLE 19's press release.

The joint statement, led by ARTICLE 19 and signed by 63 other IFEX members, follows:

Access to information and independent media are essential to United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda

Human development in the coming decades will depend on people's access to information. Ground-breaking new media and technology are enabling major expansion of economic, social and political progress.

We believe that freedom of expression and access to independent media are essential to democratic and economic development. Freedom of speech and the media are means to advance human development and are ends in their own right.

We, the undersigned, therefore call on the Open Working Group to fully integrate the governance recommendations of the UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons Report (A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development) into the proposed Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, specifically in relation to its recommendations to:

• Establish a specific goal to "ensure good governance and effective institutions"
• Include as components of this goal a clause to "ensure people enjoy freedom of speech, association, peaceful protest and access to independent media and information" and to "guarantee the public's right to information and access to government data"

Signed,

ARTICLE 19
Adil Soz - International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech
Afghanistan Journalists Center
Africa Freedom of Information Centre
Albanian Media Institute
Aliansi Jurnalis Independen/Alliance of Independent Journalists
Association for Civil Rights
Association of Caribbean Media Workers
Association of Independent Electronic Media
Bahrain Center for Human Rights
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Cambodian Center for Human Rights
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Cartoonists Rights Network International
Center for Independent Journalism - Romania
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
Center for Media Studies & Peace Building
Centre for Independent Journalism - Malaysia
Centro de Archivos y Acceso a la Información Pública
Centro de Reportes Informativos sobre Guatemala - CERIGUA
Comité por la Libre Expresión - C-Libre
Committee to Protect Journalists
Derechos Digitales
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Espacio Público
Foro de Periodismo Argentino
Foundation for Press Freedom - FLIP
Freedom Forum
Freedom House
Fundamedios - Andean Foundation for Media Observation and Study
Globe International Center
Hong Kong Journalists Association
Human Rights Network for Journalists - Uganda
Independent Journalism Center - Moldova
Index on Censorship
Initiative for Freedom of Expression - Turkey
Institute for the Studies on Free Flow of Information
Instituto Prensa y Sociedad
Instituto Prensa y Sociedad de Venezuela
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
International Press Institute
International Publishers Association
Maharat Foundation
Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance
Media Foundation for West Africa
Media Institute of Southern Africa
Media Rights Agenda
Media Watch
Mizzima News
National Press Association
National Union of Somali Journalists
Observatorio Latinoamericano para la Libertad de Expresión - OLA
Pacific Islands News Association
Pakistan Press Foundation
Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms - MADA
PEN American Center
PEN Canada
PEN International
Privacy International
Public Association "Journalists"
Reporters Without Borders
Southeast Asian Press Alliance
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters - AMARC
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

ABONG (Brazilian Association of NGOs)
Access Info Europe
Access to Information Programme, Bulgaria
Access-info Center, Moldova
Acción Ciudadana "Capitulo de Transparencia Internacional Guatemala"
Adevarul (Truth)
AFP Foundation, France
African Media Initiative, Kenya
Al-Haq, Palestine
Alianza Regional por la Libre Expresión e Información
Comunicação e Direitos (ANDI), Brazil
AMARRIBO, Brazil
Arabic Media Internet Network, Palestine
Articulação Contra a Corrupção e a Impunidade (ABRACCI)
Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad
Asociación por los Derechos Civiles, Argentina
Association “For Sustainable Development”, Armenia
Association EPAS, Romania
Bahrain Transparency Society
Campaign for Freedom of Information, UK
Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists CDFJ, Jordan
Center for Effective Government
Centre for International Environmental Law, Canada
Centre for Law and Democracy
Centre Ibn Rochd, Morocco
Centro De Iniciativas de Politicas Ambientales (CIPA), Nicaragua
Centro Ecuatoriano de Derecho Ambiental – CEDA
Centre Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental
CIMI - Conselho Indigenista Missionário - Regional Norte / Indigenous Missionary Council - Northern Region, Brazil
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, India
Comunicación y Educación Ambiental SC, Mexico
Conselho Indigenista Missionário - Regional Norte / Indigenous Missionary Council - Northern Region, Brazil
Corruption Watch UK
Cultura Ecológica, Mexico
DATA Uruguay
Defensa de Niñas y Niños Internacional – DNI, Costa Rica
Deutsche Welle Akademie, Germany
English PEN
European Endowment for Democracy
FEMNET (African Women's Development & Communication Network)
FOJO: Media Institute, Linnaeus University, Sweden
Fondation Hirondelle, Switzerland
Free Media Movement
Free Press Unlimited, The Netherlands
Freedom Foundation for Media Freedom Rights and Development, Yemen
Freedom of Information Center of Armenia
Freedom of Information Foundation, Russia
Fundacion Construir, Bolivia
Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Libertad Ciudadana, Capítulo Panameño de Transparencia Internacional
Gaspar Garcia Centre for Human Rights
Global Forum for Media Development
Global Human Rights Communications, India
Global Infancia, Paraguay
Global Integrity: Innovations for Transparency and Accountability
Global Movement for Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation (BTAP)
GONG, Croatia
GPOPAI, Research Group on Public Policy for Access to Information, University of Sao Paulo
Greenhost, The Netherlands
Group d’Action de Paix et de Formation pour la Transformation, Central African Republic
Hibr, Jordan
Human Rights Center, Azerbaijan
Human Rights First Rwanda Association
Human Security Alliance (HSA), Thailand
Iilab, UK
Independent Media Center Kurdistan, Iraq
Institut du Gouvernance Numérique
Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, Indonesia
International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), USA
International Federation of Journalists - Asia Pacific
International Media Support, Denmark
International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development
International Records Management
Internews Europe
Internews
Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association (IJRDA)
Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate, Iraq
lisbonreporter.com
LokaalMondiaal, Netherlands
Lori TV, Armenia
Media Industry Development Authority, Fiji
Media Initiatives Center, Armenia
Mediacentar Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
MediaLink, Indonesia
Medical Mission Sisters, USA
MICT Berlin, Germany
Nancy Fashho
Obong Denis Udo-Inyang Foundation, Nigeria
Observatório Social de Belém, Brazil
ONG Ativa Buzios, Brazil
ONG Transparência Cachoeirense, Brazil
Open Data Forum Indonesia
Open Democracy Advice Centre, South Africa
Open Society Foundation, Serbia
Open The Government
Ovdinfo.Org, Russia
Panos Europe
Privacy and Access Council of Canada / Conseil du Canada de l’Accès et la vie Privée
PRO MEDIA, Skopje, Macedonia
Programa Transparencia para [email protected], Mexico
Publish What You Fund
RadioExpert.org, Czech republic
Sawt el Hor, Egypt
School for Broadcast Media,
Indonesia
SKeyes center for media and cultural freedom
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Nigeria
Source Fabric, Czech Republic
South African History Archive, South Africa
Syrian Journalist Association
Syria Newsdesk
Teeba Press, Sudan
Terra-1530
The Justice Project, India
The MediaWise Trust , UK
The Zimbabwean, Zimbabwe
Tifa Foundation
Trac FM, Uganda
Transparency International
Transparency International Bangladesh
Transparency International, Croatia
Transparency Morocco
Tunis Center for Press Freedom
United Journalists Center
Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania
Uznet, Uzbekistan
Videre Est Credere, UK
Viva São João, Brazil
VOICE, Bangladesh
Vuselela-Media, South Africa
Walter Keim
World Pulse
World Wide Web Foundation
Youth Association for Development (YAD) Pakistan
Zambezi Fox, South Africa
Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations

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