14.11.2013 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

Five-day training of trainers for mediators organized

© UNESCO -Training of trainers for mediators

Nepal has now twenty more freedom of information experts, who have the skills and knowledge to train mediators to explain to people in the communities, how they can benefit from the 2007 Right to Information Act. They were trained during in a five-day workshop that the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu organized in partnership with the Citizens' Campaign for Right to Information and the Federation of Nepali Journalists.

The workshop took place from 27 to 31 October 2013 in Nagarkot as part of the European Union funded project "Empowering people to enjoy their rights to information for greater accountability of Nepal's power holders". 

The training aimed to enhance the capacity of the mediators from eastern hill and central Tarai region, so that they can further train local mediators of their areas to work for preserving and promoting citizens’ right to information and making the public service agencies more accountable. 

Speaking at the opening session of the training, Head of UNESCO Office in Kathmandu and UNESCO Representative to Nepal Axel Plathe said, "We want to provide the participants with the theoretical and practical knowledge on the right to information and on information seeking procedures that will help participants to train those people at the local level, who will empower the members of the communities to use and enjoy their right to information". 

Executive Director of the Citizens' Campaign for Right to Information Tanka Aryal explained the objectives of the training and highlighted the crucial role of mediators to empower people to enjoy their rights and build transparent and good governance for sustainable development. 

“The European Union has been supporting Nepal in its democratization process and its promoting freedom of information as one of the fundamental rights,” said Shiva Bhandari on behalf of the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal. 

Lead trainer Venkatesh Nayak said, "Since the whole training programme was developed in a practical way, it enhanced the capacity of the participants for better implement the Right to Information Act in Nepal". 

The Government of Nepal adopted the Right to Information Act in 2007 with the aim of improving transparency and accountability of the government, but citizens still do not enjoy their right to easy access to public information. On one hand the majority of the Nepali population is not yet aware on their right to information, while on the other hand, the public agencies responsible to provide citizens with the information are not fulfilling their obligation. This has in many cases curtailed the people’s basic democratic right. 

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