The UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, the UNESCO Chair for Communication of Science and Technology, Allame Tabatabaei University and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO cooperated to hold the “National Seminar on the Ecosystem of Universal Access to Information; Indicators and Infrastructure” on 14 October 2019, in Tehran.
The seminar was opened by Dr. Hadi Khaniki, the Scientific Secretary of the seminar and the Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair for Communication of Science and Technology who gave a report on the Seminar and how the idea was shaped in January 2019. The other speakers of the opening ceremony included: Dr Hossein Salimi, the president of Allame Tabatabaei University, Dr Cvetan Cvetkovski, the Officer-in-Charge of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, Dr Saeed Reza Ameli, the Secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, Dr Abolhassan Firouzabadi, the Secretary of the Supreme Council of Cyber Space and Dr Laya Joneidi, the Vice President for Legal Affairs.
Dr. Cvetkovski started his speech by quoting Aristotle that: “All human beings by nature desire to know” and to know requires having access to information”. He continued by stating UNESCO’s activities and projects for access to information and referred to the digital technology as an invaluable resource that can also create new forms of inequality, to combat which, the Member States should adopt and improve legislation for public access to information.
After the opening ceremony, the thirty selected papers were presented during the six panel discussions held in parallel. The topics of the panels consisted of the following:
E-citizen and E-government; Legal grounds and policy-making for universal access to information; Universal access to health information; Social and cultural grounds for universal access to information; BlockChain and Open Data and Reports from relevant civil society organizations and entities.
The Seminar was concluded by presenting the Draft Statement and Recommendation of the Seminar.
The event served as a platform to raise awareness on citizens’ right for access to information and the need for paying special attention to the groups with special needs, on the necessity for transparency and how to manage conflict of interests in this field, in view of the current government initiative to regulate by law the access to information and rights and responsibilities of all the actors involved. This seminar was an important step to bring together experts from different disciplines such as health, culture, law, etc from civil society, academia, and government.
The selected articles will be published soon.
This post was originally published by UN Iran. Click here to read.