Presentation of Draft Resolution on “Proclamation of September 28 as International Day for Universal Access to Information”

 

By H.E Ambassador Dee-Maxwell  Saah Kemayah, Sr. Permanent Representative of the Republic Of Liberia to the United Nations - Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mr. President,

We reiterate our congratulations to you for your election as President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

It is my great privilege to introduce to the United Na­tions General Assembly (UNGA), on behalf of the main sponsors and co-sponsors, the draft resolution; A/74/L.1: “Proclamation of September 28 as International Day for Universal Access to Information”.

Access to information is very essential for the democratic functioning of a society--shaping our political, social and economic perspectives; and vital for the sustainable de­velopment of countries.

Recognized by the new United Nations development framework-- the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under Goal 16.10.2; access to information serves as an en­abler of all other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); whether it is ending poverty in all of its forms; everywhere; ensuring healthy lives and well-being; ensuring equita­ble education, gender equality, and women empowerment; youth empowerment; promoting peaceful and inclusive so­cieties, or reducing inequalities; within and among coun­tries. None of these Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be achieved without access to information. The pro­gress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be measured without access to information.

Liberia, as a country that has experienced conflict and major public health crisis such as the Ebola pandemic, appreciates the value of access to information; in combating problems of this scale, and knows firsthand what the lack of informa­tion can mean for society-- the difference between life and death.  The draft resolution we are submitting today, draws on Resolution 38 C/70, adopted unanimously by the Member States of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cul­tural Organization (UNESCO) at its General Conference in Paris, France in 2015, proclaiming September 28 as Inter­national Day for Universal Access to Information.

Since the adoption of the UNESCO Resolution, several countries and civil society organizations celebrate the day annually, raising awareness on the importance of access to information.

The adoption today of this resolution A/74/L.1: “Proclama­tion of September 28 as International Day for Universal Ac­cess to Information” by the United Nations General Assem­bly will create the biggest global platform for Governments, civil society organizations, citizens and development part­ners to reflect on the importance of access to information; identify challenges and design new and innovative ways to promote the advancement of access to information; as a tangible tool for development and the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr. President,

The resolution we humbly present today is the result of the dedicated work of many Member States-- small and large, from different regions of the world. Such broad and diverse ownership demonstrates the truly global nature of this res­olution on access to information.

The adoption by consensus of this draft resolution A/74/L.1: “Proclamation of September 28 as International Day for Universal Access to Information” by the United Nations General Assembly Today, Tuesday, October 15, 2019; will send a clear and important message globally that we are committed to enhancing access to information; and achiev­ing the Sustainable Development Goals.

We reaffirm the unflinching practical commitment of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, and the Government of Liberia to promoting access to information, advancing press free­dom, freedom of expression; and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We commend the delegations of Sierra Leone and Costa Rica, and the many co-sponsors; for their unwavering support to our Leadership on this note worthy endeavor; and more importantly, for joining us for this initiative; and appeal to those Member States of the United Na­tions who have not yet, to kindly do so; and support this resolution.

We also thank the many countries from different regions, and international partners and civil society organiza­tions; including, but not limited to UNESCO, and the African Platform for Access to Information (APAI), the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and all other media institu­tions around the world who have championed initiatives promoting access to information over the years.

The action we take today will reaffirm our collective re­solve as the World Body--the United Nations, to work together to enhance access to information; and promote democracy and achievement of the Sustainable Develop­ment Goals.

Together; we must prioritize enhancing access to infor­mation; as a pivotal and tangible tool to ensuring the achievement, and assessing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

I thank you.

 

 

 

 

Presentation of Draft Resolution on “Proclamation of September 28 as International Day for Universal Access to Information”

 

By H.E Ambassador Dee-Maxwell  Saah Kemayah, Sr. Permanent Representative of the Republic Of Liberia to the United Nations - Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mr. President,

We reiterate our congratulations to you for your election as President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

It is my great privilege to introduce to the United Na­tions General Assembly (UNGA), on behalf of the main sponsors and co-sponsors, the draft resolution; A/74/L.1: “Proclamation of September 28 as International Day for Universal Access to Information”.

Access to information is very essential for the democratic functioning of a society--shaping our political, social and economic perspectives; and vital for the sustainable de­velopment of countries.

Recognized by the new United Nations development framework-- the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under Goal 16.10.2; access to information serves as an en­abler of all other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); whether it is ending poverty in all of its forms; everywhere; ensuring healthy lives and well-being; ensuring equita­ble education, gender equality, and women empowerment; youth empowerment; promoting peaceful and inclusive so­cieties, or reducing inequalities; within and among coun­tries. None of these Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be achieved without access to information. The pro­gress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be measured without access to information.

Liberia, as a country that has experienced conflict and major public health crisis such as the Ebola pandemic, appreciates the value of access to information; in combating problems of this scale, and knows firsthand what the lack of informa­tion can mean for society-- the difference between life and death.  The draft resolution we are submitting today, draws on Resolution 38 C/70, adopted unanimously by the Member States of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cul­tural Organization (UNESCO) at its General Conference in Paris, France in 2015, proclaiming September 28 as Inter­national Day for Universal Access to Information.

Since the adoption of the UNESCO Resolution, several countries and civil society organizations celebrate the day annually, raising awareness on the importance of access to information.

The adoption today of this resolution A/74/L.1: “Proclama­tion of September 28 as International Day for Universal Ac­cess to Information” by the United Nations General Assem­bly will create the biggest global platform for Governments, civil society organizations, citizens and development part­ners to reflect on the importance of access to information; identify challenges and design new and innovative ways to promote the advancement of access to information; as a tangible tool for development and the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr. President,

The resolution we humbly present today is the result of the dedicated work of many Member States-- small and large, from different regions of the world. Such broad and diverse ownership demonstrates the truly global nature of this res­olution on access to information.

The adoption by consensus of this draft resolution A/74/L.1: “Proclamation of September 28 as International Day for Universal Access to Information” by the United Nations General Assembly Today, Tuesday, October 15, 2019; will send a clear and important message globally that we are committed to enhancing access to information; and achiev­ing the Sustainable Development Goals.

We reaffirm the unflinching practical commitment of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, and the Government of Liberia to promoting access to information, advancing press free­dom, freedom of expression; and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We commend the delegations of Sierra Leone and Costa Rica, and the many co-sponsors; for their unwavering support to our Leadership on this note worthy endeavor; and more importantly, for joining us for this initiative; and appeal to those Member States of the United Na­tions who have not yet, to kindly do so; and support this resolution.

We also thank the many countries from different regions, and international partners and civil society organiza­tions; including, but not limited to UNESCO, and the African Platform for Access to Information (APAI), the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and all other media institu­tions around the world who have championed initiatives promoting access to information over the years.

The action we take today will reaffirm our collective re­solve as the World Body--the United Nations, to work together to enhance access to information; and promote democracy and achievement of the Sustainable Develop­ment Goals.

Together; we must prioritize enhancing access to infor­mation; as a pivotal and tangible tool to ensuring the achievement, and assessing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

I thank you.

 

 

 

 

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