On August 18, 2014 the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) launched the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development. More than 100 organizations co-signed the Declaration, which calls upon United Nations Member States to make an international commitment through the post-2015 development agenda to ensure that everyone has access to, and is able to understand, and use the information that is necessary to promote sustainable development and democratic societies.
The declaration states that access to information supports development by empowering people to:
- Exercise their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights
- Learn and apply new skills
- Make decisions and participate in an active and engaged civil society
- Create community-based solutions to development challenges
- Ensure accountability, transparency, good governance, and empowerment
- Measure progress on public and private commitments on sustainable development.
Beyond Access supports the Lyon Declaration as we believe that access to information and technology is crucial for empowering people to find solutions to their own development challenges. Information is a powerful tool that supports communities in a variety of ways: farmers learn improved agricultural techniques; community health workers access better data about local immunization rates; and start-up entrepreneurs find new markets and develop new services and products. Successful development initiatives must prioritize information needs in all communities as well as the services that help provide that information.
Beyond Access will continue to support the ideals of the Lyon Declaration as we remain active in discussions related to the post-2015 development agenda.
The Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development and the list of signatories is available at www.lyondeclaration.org.