Cambodia Marks the International Day for Universal Access to Information 2019

AKP Phnom Penh, October 08, 2019 —

The Ministry of Information, together with its partners, including UNESCO, organised here this morning an event to commemorate the International Day for Universal Access to Information 2019.

Themed “Access to Information: Leaving No One Behind!”, the commemoration was presided over by H.E. Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, Mr. Sardar Umar Alam, UNESCO Representative in Cambodia, and Ms. Camilla Ottosson, First Secretary at the Embassy of Sweden in Cambodia.

Addressing to the event, H.E. Khieu Kanharith highlighted the Royal Government’s efforts and commitment to upgrade the people’s right of access to information by creating many necessary measures to provide information to the public such as the formation of groups of spokespersons and the creation of one window service offices in the provinces across the country.

H.E. Minister also updated the participants on the nine-chapter and 38-article Access to Information draft law, which will be discussed in an inter-ministerial commission meeting next month before being submitted to the Council of Ministers, then to the National Assembly for approval.

The Royal Government has recently created an inter-ministerial committee to draft a policy framework on digital economy and another policy framework on digital government which, he believed, will enhance the right of access to information in Cambodia.

H.E. Khieu Kanharith also laid stress on increased cooperation between the government, development partners, NGOs and other relevant institutions, promotion of digital literacy, media literacy, and digital inclusiveness, and human resource development in order to ensure the access to information for all.

According to UNESCO, “Leaving No One Behind!” is a mission in which digital technology is an invaluable resource. However, the unprecedented digital transformation of our era is also leading to new forms of inequality. To combat this, digital innovation must go hand in hand with the obligation of Member States to adopt and improve legislation for public access to information. Through implementing laws, investing in relevant infrastructure, and engaging civil society and young people in particular, access to information can protect human rights and drive sustainable development.

By Khan Sophirom