17 July 2015

Response to the final draft outcome document of the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) welcomes the final Zero Draft and the continuing presence of access to information in the draft. IFLA continues to encourage the United Nations to further recognise and emphasise the role of access and skills as an essential pillar in the transformational agenda for sustainable development.

On 8 July 2015, the revised, final Zero Draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda was released. The draft outcome document will be the subject of the intergovernmental negotiations at the UN from 20-31 July 2015.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), provided feedback on the previous version of the draft in June. This response includes IFLA’s updated suggestions on language for the final Zero Draft.

IFLA and the 550 organisations and institutions that have signed the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development, welcome and support the final Zero Draft, and seek to see access to information recognized more strongly in the declaration’s vision. Donna Scheeder, President-elect of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions made an intervention from the floor during the 6th meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda on 24 June 2015. Co-chair Ambassador Machari Kamau (Kenya) strongly endorsed the inclusion of access to information in the agenda, and in the vision specifically. IFLA’s proposed language is in [square brackets].

To Our vision

7. In these goals and targets, we are setting out a supremely ambitious and transformational vision. We envisage a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive. We envisage a world free of fear and violence. A world with universal access to quality education and to health care and social protection, where physical, mental and social well-being are assured. [A world where everyone has access to information and knowledge, underpinned by universal literacy]. A world where access to safe and affordable drinking water is a basic and universal human right; where food is safe, affordable and nutritious; where there is adequate and accessible sanitation. A world where human habitats are safe, resilient and sustainable and there is affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

8. We envisage a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice and equality; of respect for race, ethnicity and cultural values; and of equal opportunity permitting the full realization of human potential while promoting shared prosperity. [We recognise access to information as a key condition for citizen participation, transparency and accountability].

A world in which every woman and child enjoys full gender equality and all barriers to their empowerment in our societies have been removed. A just, equitable, tolerant and socially inclusive world.

9. We envisage a world in which economic growth, consumption and production patterns and use of all natural resources – from air to land to oceans – are sustainable. One in which development and the application of technology are climate-sensitive, respect biodiversity and are resilient. One in which humanity lives in harmony with nature and in which wildlife and living species are protected.

To Paragraph 25

We will seek to build strong economic foundations for all our countries. Sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth is essential for prosperity. This will only be possible if wealth is shared through progressive policies aimed at redistribution. We will work to build dynamic, sustainable and people-centred economies, promoting youth employment in particular and decent work for all. All countries stand to benefit from having a healthy and well-educated workforce with the [access to information,] knowledge and skills needed for productive and fulfilling work and full participation in society. We will therefore adopt policies which increase productivity and productive employment, financial inclusion, agricultural and industrial development, sustainable transport systems and modern energy provision and which build resilient infrastructure.

To Paragraph 31

We pledge to foster inter-cultural understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and an ethic of global citizenship and shared responsibility. We acknowledge the natural and cultural diversity of the world and recognize that all cultures and civilizations can contribute to sustainable development. [We recognise the importance of cultural heritage to further communities and the importance of safeguarding cultural and natural heritage to ensure sustainable development]. We recognize the growing contribution of sport to the realization of development and peace. In its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives, sport is an important enabler of sustainable development. 

To Paragraph 35

We recognize the central role that science, technology and innovation play in enabling the international community to respond to sustainable development challenges. We recognize the power of [information and] communications technologies, technical cooperation and capacity-building [to bridge the gap between national policy and local implementation to support] for sustainable development. We commit to strengthen the role of the science-policy interface in environmental governance.

To Paragraph 59

In order to ensure access to high-quality disaggregated data, support for developing countries, particularly African countries, LDCs, SIDS and LLDCs, to strengthen national statistical offices and data systems [and institutions that make available and preserve that data are] is critical. We will also promote scaling up public-private cooperation to exploit the contribution to be made by a wide range of data, including geo-spatial information, while ensuring national ownership in supporting and tracking progress. [We commit to providing access to data to the public, and to the preservation of data and government information for access by future generations.]

Access to information, Access to knowledge, Advocacy, Associations

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