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Parliaments must ensure freedom of information and freedom of expression

21-11-2005 (Paris)
"Freedom of expression is inseparable from freedom of information, the basis for access to knowledge", said former UNESCO Assistant Director-General Henrikas Ioushikavitshius speaking on behalf of UNESCO at a parliamentary panel in Tunis last week.
The meeting, held in the Tunisian Chamber of Deputies on Thursday 17 November 2005, examined the special role of Parliaments in building knowledge societies with a particular focus on the question of access to information. The event was organized by the Tunisian Chamber of Deputies, the Interparliamentary Union and UNESCO on the occasion of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

The issue was considered from two angles:
  • parliaments’ ability to obtain information they need for their work; and
  • legislation guaranteeing citizens' rights of access to information.
The Parliamentary panel provided an opportunity for participants to obtain first-hand information on the issue of access to information as well as to exchange and compare their experiences. They expressed their will to adopt a legislative framework and relevant budgets in this field and to monitor the follow-up of the decisions adopted by the WSIS, in cooperation with IPU.

UNESCO’s Programme for Parliamentarians aims to ensure that Organization’s values and objectives are reflected in national policy-making and legislation. Parliamentarians are in the best position to make citizens aware of UNESCO’s mission, to have a direct impact on the preparation of legislation and adoption of national budget and to ensure that the Organization programmes are reflected in the reality.
Related themes/countries

      · 2005
      · Freedom of Expression: News Archives 2005
      · Tunisia: News Archives 2005
      · Public Domain Information: News Archives 2005
      · News Archives 2005
      · Freedom of Information: News Archives 2005
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