Post-2015: Access to information and free media essential to development

Monday, February 3, 2014
United Nations’ Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals Division for Sustainable Development Department of Economic and Social Affairs United Nations Secretariat Building 405 East 42nd Street New York, NY 10017, USA Dear Members of the United Nations’ Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world. CJFE adds its voice to ARTICLE 19 and the undersigned signatories to demand a UN Post-2015 Development Agenda that includes access to information and independent media. Human development in the coming decades will depend on people’s access to information. Ground-breaking new media and technology are enabling major expansion of economic, social and political progress. We believe that freedom of expression and access to independent media are essential to democratic and economic development. Freedom of speech and the media are means to advance human development and are ends in their own right. We, the undersigned, therefore call on the Open Working Group to fully integrate the governance recommendations of the UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons Report (A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development) into the proposed Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, specifically in relation to its recommendations to:
  • • Establish a specific goal to “ensure good governance and effective institutions”
  • • Include as components of this goal a clause to "ensure people enjoy freedom of speech, association, peaceful protest and access to independent media and information" and to "guarantee the public's right to information and access to government data"
We thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply. Yours sincerely, Arnold Amber, CJFE President ARTICLE 19, International Global Forum for Media Development, Belgium/International ABONG (Brazilian Association of NGOs) Access Info Europe Access to Information Programme, Bulgaria Access-info Center, Moldova Acción Ciudadana "Capitulo de Transparencia Internacional Guatemala" Adevarul (Truth), Armenia Adil Soz, Kazakhstan Afghanistan Journalists Center AFP Foundation, France Africa Freedom of Information Centre African Media Initiative, Kenya/International Albanian Media Institute Alliance of Independent Journalists, Indonesia Alianza Regional por la Libre Expresión e Información, South America AMARRIBO, Brazil Arabic Media Internet Network, Palestine Articulação Contra a Corrupção e a Impunidade, Brazil Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad, Colombia Association "For Sustainable Human Development", Armenia Asociación por los Derechos Civiles, Argentina Association EPAS, Romania Association of Caribbean Media Workers Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM), Serbia Bahrain Center for Human Rights Bahrain Transparency Society Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI) Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Egypt Cambodian Center for Human Rights Campaign for Freedom of Information, UK Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Cartoonists Rights Network International Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists, Jordan Center for Effective Government, USA Center for International Environmental Law, Canada Center for Independent Journalism, Romania Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Philippines Center for Media Studies and Peace Building, Liberia Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia Centre for Law and Democracy, International Centre Ibn Rochd, Morocco Centro de Archivos y Acceso a la Información Pública, Uruguay Centro de Iniciativas de Políticas Ambientales, Nicaragua Centro de Reportes Informativos sobre Guatemala Centro Ecuatoriano de Derecho Ambiental, Ecuador Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental, Mexico CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation Comité por la Libre Expresión (C-Libre), Honduras Committee to Protect Journalists, International Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, India Comunicación y Educación Ambiental SC, Mexico Comunicação e Direitos (ANDI), Brazil Conselho Indigenista Missionário - Regional Norte / Indigenous Missionary Council - Northern Region, Brazil Corruption Watch UK Cultura Ecológica, Mexico DATA Uruguay Defensa de Niñas y Niños Internacional – DNI, Costa Rica Derechos Digitales, Chile Deutsche Welle Akademie, Germany Electronic Frontier Foundation, USA English PEN, UK Espaço de Formação Assessoria e Documentação, Brazil Espacio Público, Venezuela European Endowment for Democracy FEMNET (African Women's Development & Communication Network) FOJO: Media Institute, Linnaeus University, Sweden Fondation Hirondelle, Switzerland Foro de Periodismo Argentino (FOPEA), Argentina Free Media Movement, Sri Lanka Free Press Unlimited, Netherlands Freedom Forum, Nepal Freedom Foundation for Media Freedom Rights and Development, Yemen Freedom House, USA Freedom of Information Center of Armenia Freedom of Information Foundation, Russia Fundación Andina para la Observación y el Estudio de Medios (Fundamedios), Ecuador Fundacion Construir, Bolivia Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Libertad Ciudadana, Capítulo Panameño de Transparencia Internacional, Panama Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa, Colombia Gaspar Garcia Centre for Human Rights, Brazil Global Human Rights Communications, India Global Infancia, Paraguay Global Integrity: Innovations for Transparency and Accountability, International Global Movement for Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation (BTAP), International Globe International Center, Mongolia GONG, Croatia GPOPAI, Research Group on Public Policy for Access to Information, University of Sao Paulo Greenhost, The Netherlands Groupe d'Action de Paix et de Formation pour la Transformation, Central African Republic Hibr, Jordan Hong Kong Journalists Association, China Human Rights Center, Azerbaijan Human Rights First Rwanda Association Human Rights Network for Journalists, Uganda Human Security Alliance, Thailand Iilab, UK Independent Journalism Center, Moldova Independent Media Center Kurdistan, Iraq Index on Censorship, UK Initiative for Freedom of Expression, Turkey Institut du Gouvernance Numérique, Canada Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, Indonesia Institute for the Studies on Free Flow of Information, Indonesia Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, Venezuela Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, Peru International Center for Journalists, USA International Federation of Journalists - Asia Pacific International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions International Media Support, Denmark International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development International Press Institute, Austria International Publishers Association International Records Management Internews Europe Internews, International Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate, Iraq LokaalMondiaal, Netherlands Lori TV, Armenia Maharat Foundation, Lebanon Media Foundation for West Africa Media Industry Development Authority, Fiji Media Initiatives Center, Armenia Media Institute of Southern Africa Media Rights Agenda, Nigeria Media Watch, Bangladesh Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Australia Mediacentar Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina MediaLink, Indonesia Medical Mission Sisters, USA MICT Berlin, Germany Mizzima News, Burma Nancy Fashho, Individual National Union of Somali Journalists Obong Denis Udo-Inyang Foundation, Nigeria Observatorio Latinoamericano para la Libertad de Expresión, Peru Observatório Social de Belém, Brazil ONG Ativa Buzios, Brazil ONG Transparência Cachoeirense, Brazil Open Data Forum Indonesia Open Democracy Advice Centre, South Africa Open Society Foundation, Serbia Open The Government, USA Ovdinfo.Org, Russia Pacific Islands News Association Pakistan Press Foundation, Pakistan Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms Panos Europe PEN American Center PEN Canada PEN International Privacy and Access Council of Canada / Conseil du Canada de l’Accès et la vie Privée Privacy International PRO MEDIA Skopje, Macedonia Programa Transparencia para [email protected], Mexico Public Association Journalists, Kyrgyzstan Publish What You Fund, International, Czech Republic Reporters Without Borders, France Sawt el Hor, Egypt School for Broadcast Media, Indonesia SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, Lebanon Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Nigeria Source Fabric, Czech Republic South African History Archive, South Africa Southeast Asian Press Alliance Syrian Journalist Association Syria Newsdesk Teeba Press, Sudan Terra-1530, Moldova The Justice Project, India The MediaWise Trust, UK The Zimbabwean, Zimbabwe Tifa Foundation, Indonesia Trac FM, Uganda Transparency International Transparency International Bangladesh Transparency International, Croatia Transparency Morocco Tunis Center for Press Freedom, Tunisia United Journalists Center, Egypt Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Uznet, Uzbekistan Videre Est Credere, UK Viva São João, Brazil VOICE, Bangladesh Vuselela-Media, South Africa Walter Keim, Individual, Norway Wesam Al-Haq World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) World Pulse, International World Wide Web Foundation Youth Association for Development, Pakistan Zambezi Fox, South Africa Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations Cc: Mr. Guillermo E. Rishchynski, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression The Honourable John Baird, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs The Honourable Christian Paradis, Canadian Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie

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