ISLAMABAD, SEPT 28 (DNA) – International Day for Universal Access to Information, “The right to Know – Building Back Better” was celebrated on September 28, 2021 by UNESCO with partners including the EU delegation to Pakistan, the Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of the Netherlands and the global civil society organizations Free Press Unlimited (FPU). Some 50 participants from civil society, youth, media professionals, academia, international organizations, and diplomatic missions attended the event.
The Ambassador of Sweden, H.E. Mr. Henrik Persson gave the welcome marks by recognizing the importance of access to information for building strong institutions. During the keynote address the honourable provincial minister of Balochistan, Mr. Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, stressed upon the need for more proactive disclosure of information by governments to strengthen citizen’s voices, accountability, and transparency.
During the event a panel of expert speakers including Ms. Amber Rahim Shamsi (veteran journalist), Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed (former information commissioner), Ms. Imaan HazirMazari (lawyer and human rights activist) and Mr. Zafarullah Khan (former executive director Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Studies) expressed their opinions on the need to enhance access to information in the country.
UNESCO Officer, Mr. Hamza Khan presented UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay’s message reiterating organization’s commitment to promote access to information and freedom of expression across the globe.
The right of universal access to information empowers citizens to make informed opinions thus strengthening democratic processes and ensuring the protection of fundamental human rights.