IFLA Development and Access to Information Report on display at UN SDG16 Meeting​UN Member States, agencies and civil society representatives met in Rome on 27-29 May to discuss progress towards building peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG16). IFLA participated, highlighting the fundamental role of libraries and access to information in achieving success for all.

When UN Member States meet in New York in July, and again in September in order to discuss the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG16) will be on the agenda.

This is not just because this SDG is in focus this year, but also because success in this area is essential in order to achieve development in other fields. A key target under SDG16 is Access to Information.

In preparation for the meetings later this year, governments, UN agencies and civil society representatives participated in an expert meeting in Rome on 27-29 May 2019. This aimed to assess progress, identify priorities for action, and explore approaches which could help accelerate positive change.

IFLA attended, both alongside UN agencies in a pitching session, and from the floor during other parts of the event.

Access to Information: Essential for Success

Drawing on the 2019 Development and Access to Information report, IFLA underlined that equitable and meaningful access to information was an essential condition for achieving other parts of SDG16.

For example, people cannot enforce their rights if they do not know what these are. Libraries providing access to legal information can help ensure that no-one is left out.

Libraries can also help ensure that people are able to take advantage of open government programmes. Through offering support, helping to design interfaces, and simply raising awareness, they can complement the efforts of central and local governments.

There was a warm welcome for the work libraries do from other participants, as well as recognition of the role they play.

IFLA looks forward to the High Level Political Forum in order to share more, and further build understanding and support for libraries globally.

Read the Development and Access to Information report 2019. Read the text of IFLA's intervention, and IFLA's proposals in the official summary of tools and approaches to delivering SDG16.