In a statement released today, the Center for Effective Government joined nearly 200 organizations from around the world in calling for the right to know to be enshrined as a global goal for sustainable development efforts.
Open and accountable government is key to successful development, according to a report by a United Nations (UN) panel released May 30. The report, titled A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development, was produced by a panel of global dignitaries at the request of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The report's emphasis on transparency represents the growing consensus among world leaders in favor of open government and could bolster support for transparency within the U.S.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," and goes on to define a life of dignity as one in which freedom of opinion and expression, the right to health, and the right to participate in government are guaranteed. All governments are obliged to respect and promote these rights, and national and international mechanisms exist to enforce them.
Access to government information is a human right, according to a commentary issued today by the United Nations' Human Rights Committee. The comment is the most comprehensive statement to date embracing freedom of information as integral to human rights under international law.