Press Release: SOMA organizes Panel Discussion on the International Day for Universal Access to Information 2019
Mogadishu- Saturday September 28, 2019 – The Somali Media Association (SOMA) has organized Panel Discussion event on 28th September 2019 at Hotel Afrik in Mogadishu, Somalia titled “International day for universal access to information – 2019”
The main purpose was to highlight the significance of the International Day for Universal Access to Information, an event considered globally every year on 28 September 2019.
Since 2016 UNESCO marks 28 September every year as the International Day for Universal Access to Information” (IDUAI), the main theme of the IDUAI event is access to information: leave no one behind, and # Access to information day, # Right to Know.
The IDUAI has particular relevance with Agenda 2030 with specific reference to the sustainable Development Goal – SDG 16 on initiatives to adopt and implement constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information.
In terms of the SDG 16, all countries should ensure ‘’public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.
The event has attracted 30 participants from the Ministry of Information, media association, media stations, Mogadishu University and the civil society organizations that have attended in the panel discussion for the event.
In his opening remarks , Mohamed Abduwahab, the Secretary General of SOMA said that its fundamental human right that every citizen to ask for, and receive, information held by public organizations and government bodies and has mentioned the significance to convene the panel discussion for this event.
Nur Ali Farah facilitating the panel discussion event has explained the past history related to the event of the International Day for Universal Access to Information” (IDUAI) initiated by UNESCO from 2016.
The key participants of the panel discussions were Abdirahman Yusuf Al Adaala, Director General of Ministry of Information, Shaafici Ibrahim Abdi from Mogadishu University, Ahmed Abdihadi from Kulan Forum, Mohamed Adeed Ali from SONSA(Ex-SOSCENSA).
Abdirahman Yusuf Al Adaala, the Director General of the Ministry of Information has said, “ the Somali people has the culture as oral society to access information and giving out and sharing information”. He explained that the there is no law restricting the Somali citizen from accessing information.
During the panel discussion, the participants were taken through the thematic topics on how to ensure every Somali person access information. It was highlighted that Article 32 of the Somali constitution stipulates that every Somali citizen has the right to access information held by the government.
The participants were given opportunity to ask direct questions on access of information, freedom of the press and time to discuss key issues affecting media freedom and access to information.