Free expression advocates in the
access to information laws are now on the books in half of the countries in
the region, while in almost all of the rest draft bills are under
discussion or are just moments away from being passed into law.
But some countries continue to struggle with implementing the laws, and
some are even backsliding. In other countries, access to info laws are
To the rescue is the Americas Regional Plan of Action, a blueprint to
advance the right of access to information in the
the Americas Regional Conference on the Right of Access to Information in
More than 115 representatives from government, civil society, media,
regional intergovernmental organisations, financial institutions and donors
from 18 countries in the region came together to consider the main
obstacles and potential solutions to this right.
The group agreed that states have a special obligation to disclose
information related to human rights violations or corruption - especially
those committed under the guise of the"global war on terror," have been
"allowed to flourish under the veil of state secrets."
Chairing the final day of the conference, former U.S. President Jimmy
Carter reminded those gathered that "access to information can change the
landscape of society" as it provides citizens a tool to hold government
accountable, improve development, and assure greater security, as well as
being a fundamental human right.
The conference was organised by The Carter Center in collaboration with the
Organization of American States, the Andean Jurist Commission and the
as an annex to last year's global Atlanta Declaration and Plan of Action.
Read the full Americas Regional Findings and Plan of Action and the
Declaration for the Advancement of the Right of Access to Information: