ARTICLE 19, the campaign defending the right to free speech, yesterday launched a Declaration marking a new consensus on the role of transparency and free flow of information in achieving the MDGs.
The London Declaration for Transparency, the Free Flow of Information and Development was developed at recent conference in London attended by over 70 human rights and development representatives from inter-governmental organisations and civil society from 13 countries. The Declaration urges that efforts toward the MDGs encompass the following principles:
First, the free flow of information, transparency and civic engagement are fundamental to the achievement of the MDGs, and the global fight against poverty.
Second, the free flow of information includes protecting and strengthening the right of all to seek, receive and impart information and ideas related to the MDGs and development, and the existence of a free, diverse and professional media.
Third, transparency requires collecting, producing, and disclosing accessible, credible and disaggregated data on MDG indicators and targets, as well as on budgets, aid assistance and revenues from natural and other resources.
And fourth, civic engagement requires establishing and protecting an enabling environment for civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media, and active participation by all, in particular people living in poverty and those discriminated against, or marginalised.
On the same day, ARTICLE 19 welcomed the approval of the Freedom of Information Act by the House of Representatives and Senate of the Republic of Liberia, urging President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to sign and implement the law immediately.
A new website, with ongoing analysis of transparency, free flow of information and MDG issues, alongside a summary of conference contributions, has been launched at www.right2info-MDGs.org.