International Day for Universal Access of Information 2021: History and Significance

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The torrential flow of information is the result of the dominant paradigm considering the availability of abundant information assign of development. As a result, the common perspective, and rightly so, is that information is power. An informed person hones the skills and ability to make an informed, and subsequently, right decision.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) realized the phenomenon induced by information, and on November 17, 2015, announced that the International Day for Universal Access of Information will be observed on September 28.

Multiple organizations and governmental bodies gave rise to the domino effect and adhered to the declaration by UNESCO. As a result, the UN General Assembly also decided to observe September 28 as the International Day for Universal Access of Information (IDUAI).

The IDUAI has its main focus on making information accessible for all so that a robust structure of sustainable policies can be developed in society. Furthermore, it ensures that the access to information is continuous at times of crisis so that a collectively informed decision can be made to find ways out of it.

As a subsidiary of UNESCO, the International Program for Development of Communication and the Information for All Program foster discussion on an international level which sees the participation of all stakeholders devising plans to ensure Access To Information (ATI). Other vectors of these programs involve providing platforms for the flourishment of ATI through open science, multilingualism, and media and information literacy.

The foundation of IDUAI is based on the perception that an informed citizen can hold accountable the bodies that govern the societies and help shape policies in a way that benefits every individual. It promotes the idea of universal access to information, which means every individual should have the right to seek, receive, and impart knowledge. The idea is vital because it is viscerally connected to the paradigm of the Right to Freedom of Expression and the Right to Freedom of the Press.

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