The Department of International Law (DIL) of the Secretariat for Legal Affaris (SLA) of the OAS participated in the XVIII Meeting of the Network for Transparency and Access to Public Information (Red de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información) (RTA) held in Mexico City within the framework of the National Transparency Week, from November 11 – 14. The purpose of this activity was to follow up on the commitments undertaken by RTA Members as well as on strategic cooperation projects regarding access to public information and transparency.
The Meeting, organized by Mexico’s National Institute for Access to Public Information and Protection of Personal Data (Instituto Nacional de Acceso a la Información y Datos Personales – INAI), was attended by the agencies in charge of guaranteeing access to public information in RTA member States 17, as well as representatives from the Network of African Commissioners on Access to Public Information (RACAI), The International Foundation for Iberoamerica on Public Administration and Policy (Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas – FIIAPP), and the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), among others.
The DIL participated in an exchange of experiences and good practices with the members of the RACAI, seeking to identify areas of opportunity in which the products developed by the OAS over the past decade, such as the Inter-American Model Law on Access to Public Information, its Implementation Guide and the workshops on this topic, may enrich the work that this Network carries out in Africa – all the while sharing good practices developed in countries such as Kenya, Tunisia and Liberia, which may in turn be adapted for our region under the leadership of the OAS.
In its capacity as Adhering Member of the RTA, the DIL presented the latest developments in the discussion of the draft Inter-American Model Law on Access to Public Information 2.0 which is under way at the Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI), consultative organ of the OAS on juridical matters, for which the DDI serves as Technical Secretariat. In that regard, the DDI informed that the CJI is scheduled to consider the complete draft Model Law 2.0 during its upcoming regular session in late February 2020, and described the discussion and, as the case may be, approval of this kind of instruments within the political bodies of the Organization, such as the Permanent Council and the General Assembly.
The event’s main objectives were stated in the Mexico City Declaration “Transparency and its Role in the Democratic Life of the Iberoamerican Region”, which was signed by all participants and highlights the importance of the Inter-American Program on Access to Public Information, the vital role of international instruments in the promotion and protection of this right, and the relevance of access to information in electoral and democratic processes, governance, the eradication of corruption, and the protection of human rights, among others.