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April 2020

OAS holds Special Meeting on Access to Public Information

OAS holds Special Meeting on Access to Public Information

On Thursday, April 22nd, the Committee on Juridicial and Political Affairs (CAJP) of the OAS Permanent Council held a special meeting on access to public information. The purpose of the meeting was to assess the progress made in the region in compliance with the Inter-American Program for Access to Public Information. The session was held virtually in light of the measures that have been put in place due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

In his report to the delegations, the Director of the Department of International Law (DIL) referred to the mandates that the General Assembly, the Organization’s highest body, has conferred to the DIL regarding access to public information. Chief among them is to continue to advance in the broad consultations on a Model Law 2.0 and to present the Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI) –the OAS consultative body in juridical matters- with a comprehensive proposal to be in turn presented to the Organization’s political bodies.

The Director recounted the nearly one and a half year long consultation process, in which the focal points of the Inter-American Program, the guarantor bodies in the region, civil society and other social actors offered valuable input on the areas in which the 2010 Inter-American Model Law on Access to Public Information could be updated to become an instrument that gathers the lessons learned and good practices developed in the last decade, taking into account the available normative and technological developments.

Likewise, he explained that, based on all that input, the DIL prepared a document that became the basis for the CJI’s deliberations during its regular sessions held in August 2019 and March 2020, after which the CI approved the proposal that was sent to the Permanent Council on March 25th.

Finally, the Director indicated that several social actors working in the protection and promotion of the right of access to public information are eagerly anticipating the approval of this proposal during the upcoming OAS General Assembly. Among those which have made this expectation known in different fora are the guarantor bodies of the region, the Network for Transparency and Access to Public Information (Red de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información) and the Regional Alliance for Free Speech and Information (Alianza Regional por la Libre Expresión e Información), a network of multiple NGO from around the region, which have issued written endorsements of the proposal expressing their satisfaction with the results of this process. Beyond our region, the Eurosocial+ program also issued a communiqué in praise of the proposed Model Law 2.0.

The CAJP also heard the country reports on the progress made for the implementation of the Inter-American Program for Access to Public Information, which focused mainly on the efforts made in active transparency, based on progress indicators that the DIL prepared. Said reports will be uploaded to the DIL web page as they become available.

» To read the report of the Department on International Law, click here

» To read the endorsement of the Alianza Regional por la Libre Expresión e Información, click here

To read the communiqué issued by Eurosocial, click here

For further information on this matter, please contact the Department of International Law of the OAS – Technical Secretariat of the Inter-American Juridical Committee +1 202 370 0743. 

» For additional information about the Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI), please visit our Website

» For additional information about the Department of International Law (DIL), please visit our Website


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