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Julius Banda, UNESCO Country Representative speaking at Imperial Hotel

UNESCO calls for public access to information ahead of 2024 election

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have urged the transitional government to speed up public access to information ahead of 2024 election.

“As we head into elections here, UNESCO is appealing to government to ensure access to information is protected including access to the internet, the ability to access information has never been more critical to the health of our democracies,” Julius Banda, the country representative for the UNESCO told journalists on Thursday at Imperial Hotel during the celebration of International Day for Universal Access to Information.

 Banda said that UNESCO works to protect and promote access to information as a fundamental human right.

He disclosed access to information is an essential step towards the attainment of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The United Nations General Assembly, following a 2015 declaration from the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed 28 September as “International Day for Universal Access to Information”.

Elijah Alier, the Managing Director for the South Sudan Media Authority said the media land scape in the country is improving, adding that they are working to create conducive media environment.

“One of the good things that we have done as a country is the fact that our constitution guarantees us all the bill of rights, freedom of expression, freedom of access to information, freedom of association  and freedom of movement,” Alier said.

Moyiga Nduru, the Commissioner for the Commission of Access to information said that they are working to strengthen information sector including information officers.

“At the moment what we are doing is to strengthen the information sector in every institutions, we call them information officers, this is the first call for those who are seeking information be they journalists or business people,” Nduru said. 

Yath Awan Yath, the Undersecretary for the National, Ministry of Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services said the persistent conflict across the country is impeding access to information.

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