An-Najah Celebrates the International Day for Universal Access to Information 2021
The Department of Communication and Digital Media at An-Najah National University in collaboration with Oslo Metropolitan University and in coordination with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) commemorated the International Day for Universal Access to Information under the title:" The Right to Know: Building Back Better with Access to Information" at the Faculty of Law Auditorium in the New Campus.
The event started with an opening speech by Dr. Farid Abudheir, Lecturer at An-Najah's Department of Communication and Digital Media, and Coordinator of Preparatory Committee of the event who welcomed the attendees, emphasized on the significance of access to information, and referred to the objective of the event which is to commemorate the International Day for Universal Access to Information 2021 under the theme “Building Back Better with Access to Information”.which had been proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference in 2015.
The theme of the 2021 International Day for Universal Access to Information highlighted the role of access to information laws and their implementation to build back strong institutions for the public good and sustainable development, as well as to strengthen the right to information and international cooperation in the field of implementing this human right.
The event included three sessions. The first session included the participation of Dr. Abdul Salam Al-Khayat, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ms. Noha Bawazir, Head of Office and UNESCO Representative, Mr. Erling rling Hoem, Deputy Head of the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Nasser Jawabreh, Representative of the Palestinian Ministry of Information, and journalist Jaafar Shtayyeh, representative of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate.
The second and third sessions were attended by a number of academics in the field of media from various Palestinian universities, and a number of journalists, including Dr. Ibrahim Akka, Mr. Ayman Al-Masry, Ms. Lamis Abu Saleh from the University, Ali Daraghmeh, chief editor of Madar News Agency and Dr. Amin Abu Warda, Director of Asda'a Press Office, and Mr. Salah Abu Hassan from Hebron University, and Dr. Hanadi Dwaikat from the Arab American University, and Dr. Samer Rowaished from Palestine Technical University, and Dr. Nader Salha from Al-Quds University, and Mr. Saleh Masharqa from Birzeit University.
The celebration included discussions on policy and guidelines in the area of access to information. Also, it covered several topics such as the international efforts to issue laws on the right to access to information, the role of the right of access to information in spreading awareness in society, the reality of the right to access information in Palestine and efforts to issue laws on the right to access to information, the role of the audience in transferring the right to access into reality rather than just words, the impact of social media sites on the right to access to information, and the impact of the absence of a law on the right to access to information on integrity, anti-corruption and the democracy of societies.
The event resulted in a number of recommendations most important are the importance of the enactment of laws that ensure the right to Access to Information, whether in Palestine or other countries that have not enacted such laws yet, the necessity of making information accessible for all individuals so that a strong and firm structure of sustainable policies can be developed in society, the importance of spreading awareness concerning the need to expand laws related to information and their implementation, and the necessity of organizing training workshops for media students and related sectors on the right to information.