12 February 2014

Governance, Access to Information on the Agenda at Open Working Group 8

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IFLA is actively involved at the UN in sessions dedicated to the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will follow the conclusion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the end of 2015. The new goals are being discussed by the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development.

The OWG has been holding a series of sessions focusing on different issues which will need to be represented in the UN’s new development framework scheduled to begin in January 2016.

Stuart Hamilton, IFLA Director of Policy and Advocacy, attended the 8th session of the OWG between February 3-7 2014.

Read the IFLA Statement to the OWG

The statement discussed the importance of access to information as a fundamental human right and highlighted that in many communities the library is the only place for people to access information. IFLA’s other statements related to this topic can also now be found on the UN website - a joint statement on access to information and the post-2015 development agenda and IFLA’s Statement on Libraries and Development

In connection with the 8th session of the OWG, IFLA co-signed a new statement calling for access to information to be central to the post-2015 development agenda. This call was picked up by the Guardian, highlighting the call to include access the information in the SDGs. 

UNDP

Prior to the 8th session of the OWG IFLA Governing Board Member Loida Garcia-Febo attended a meeting organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on data accountability for the post-2015 development agenda. The meeting brought together various initiatives and key stakeholders active in the field to discuss how to facilitate the monitoring of the new development framework, improved data collection and use of data in evidence-based policy making and the role of intermediaries in fostering transparency and participation. Lodia presented the role of libraries in the data revolution and further promoted the central role libraries play.

The welcome received by global institutions and representatives from the private sector, government and civil society confirmed that libraries are increasingly being considered crucial partners in achieving the new sustainable development goals. Participants shared inspiring stories about libraries in their home countries with each other and were keen to discuss the work done by libraries. There were many library supporters at the event.

Further reading

Access to information, Access to knowledge, United States, post-2015, UNDP, UN, MDGs, SDGs

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