Right to Access Information: The Way forward in Morocco
On 10 December 2010, on the occasion of Human Rights Day, UNESCO, Transparency Maroc and the Netherlands Embassy are organizing a workshop on the "Right to Access Information: The Way Forward for Morocco". The event, which is taking place in Rabat, aims to present guidelines, standards and international good practices on access to information, and to make comparison with the situation in Morocco.
The promotion and the protection of human rights is the foundation of knowledge societies, the concept that UNESCO has been promoting since the World Summit on the Information Society. The right to access public information is essential to the exercise of fundamental freedoms. It strengthens legitimacy and transparency of public authorities; it is a key feature of good governance and an indicator of a genuinely democratic and pluralist society, opposed to all forms of corruption, and open to enlightened participation of citizens in matters of public interest.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the emergence of new democracies in the 90s, over 90 countries in the world have adopted laws on freedom of information. The adoption by the Council of Europe in June 2009 of the first international legal binding instrument on access to public documents marks a global recognition of the right to access official information held by public authorities.
The national programme, Archive, History and Memory, supports the preservation and access to archives of Morocco, covering the period of "years of lead" under the King Hassan II. Since its launch, the development of a strong policy and legislative framework to protect the public's right to seek, receive and impart information, as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is more than ever relevant in the country.
The workshop will bring together public policy makers, representatives of associations, information experts and journalists for a multi-stakeholder debate to make collective choices and to explore the way forward in Morocco for the recognition of public right to access information, based on shared responsibilities. The UNESCO's <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=15862&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Policy Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Governmental Public Domain Information</a> will serve as a basis for the discussion.
The programme of the workshop is available in PDF below, in French.
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