Madrid, 3 February 2014 – Access Info Europe along with 195 civil society organisations from around the world have called on the United Nations (UN) to put government accountability and independent media at the centre of a new framework for global development. The joint statement coordinated by ARTICLE 19 and the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) comes ahead of a meeting of the UN Open Working Group for Sustainable Development Goals, which takes place in New York this week – and will include further discussions on governance.

You can see a full list of the signatories and the text of the statement here.

The statement

Human development in the coming decades will depend on people’s access to information. Ground-breaking new media and technology are enabling major expansion of economic, social and political progress.

We believe that freedom of expression and access to independent media are essential to democratic and economic development. Freedom of speech and the media are means to advance human development and are ends in their own right.

We, the undersigned, therefore call on the Open Working Group to fully integrate the governance recommendations of the UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons Report (A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development) into the proposed Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, specifically in relation to its recommendations to:

» Establish a specific goal to “ensure good governance and effective institutions”

» Include as components of this goal a clause to “ensure people enjoy freedom of speech, association, peaceful protest and access to independent media and information” and to “guarantee the public’s right to information and access to government data”