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Photo Gallery: International Conference on the Right to Public Information

Feb. 27-29, 2008

The Carter Center

Participants of the International Conference on the Right to Public Information gather for a photo with President Carter.
Photo credit: Carter Center/C. Mackey
(Click to enlarge)

Participants of the International Conference on the Right to Public Information gathered for a photo with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter before the conference's opening plenary. The conference included 125 participants from 40 countries representing the key stakeholder groups - governments, civil society, international and regional organizations, media, international financial institutions, donor organizations and foundations, academia, and the private sector.

Photo of Malian Minister of Justice Maharafa Traoré and President Carter at the International Conference on the Right to Public Information.
Photo credit: Carter Center/C. Mackey
(Click to enlarge)

Malian Minister of Justice Maharafa Traoré and President Carter offered their welcoming remarks to conference participants. President Carter spoke of his commitment to promoting governmental openness during his presidency and through the Carter Center, and Minister Traoré described the transformative effects of transparency in his country.

Photo of Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo at the International Conference on the Right to Public Information.
Photo credit: Carter Center/C. Mackey
(Click to enlarge)

Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo chaired the second panel on Access to Information as a Tool for Socio-Economic Rights and Development. President Toledo said that he was privileged to sign into law the Access to Information and Transparency Law, thereby providing access to information to the Peruvian people. "Yet in order to be successful," he reminded us, "access to information laws must be coupled with the political will of the executive branch."

Olivia Grange, Jamaican minister of information, youth, culture and sports, chairs a plenary session at the International Conference on the Right to Public Information.
Photo credit: Carter Center/C. Mackey
(Click to enlarge)

Olivia Grange, Jamaican minister of information, youth, culture, and sports, chaired the last plenary session on the State of Access to Information Around the World: Challenges and Successes. While commenting on the successes of the access to information act in Jamaica, Minister Grange described the many lessons that the government has learned through the implementation process. She offered advice to countries considering legislation: "Don't wait until you have all ducks in a row to begin this journey; make a start and the solutions will fall into place."

Photo of Richard Calland, programme manager of the economic governance programme at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, facilitating a working group at the International Conference on the Right to Public Information.
Photo credit: Carter Center/D. Hakes
(Click to enlarge)

Richard Calland, programme manager of the economic governance programme at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, served as the facilitator for working group three. He led the group in discussing whether and how non-state actors should be placed under the jurisdiction of access to information laws. Together, the group produced recommendations to be shared with conference participants and incorporated into the Atlanta Declaration and Plan of Action for the Advancement of the Right of Access to Information.

Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International, gives a keynote speech at the International Conference on the Right to Public Information.
Photo credit: Carter Center/D. Hakes
(Click to enlarge)

Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International, served as the luncheon keynote speaker on the second day of the conference. Dr. Labelle spoke of the debilitating effects of corruption on the poor, the areas most vulnerable to corrupt practices, and the value of information in the fight against corruption.  She concluded with recommendations for what the international community can do to sustain the right of access to information.

Photo of Diego Garcia-Sayan, Justice of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, at a special conference dinner.
Photo credit: Carter Center/C. Mackey
(Click to enlarge)

Diego Garcia-Sayan, Justice of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, at the special conference dinner hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Justice Garcia-Sayan served as the keynote speaker for the opening luncheon of the conference. He spoke of the important legal precedent set by a 2006 case, Claude Reyes v. Chile, in which the court established that access to information is a human right, and that the state has a positive obligation to fulfill this right for its citizens.

Justice Albie Sachs of the South African Constitutional Court gives a keynote speech at the Federal Reserve Bank dinner, in conjuction with the International Conference on the Right to Public Information.
Photo credit: Carter Center/C. Mackey
(Click to enlarge)

Justice Albie Sachs of the South African Constitutional Court was the keynote speaker at the Federal Reserve Bank dinner. Relaying the South African experience of the right to information, Justice Sachs spoke powerfully of the role of information in legitimizing personal experiences at the hands of the state, including his own, as well as ensuring peace with justice.

Photo of Carter Center Access to Information Project Manager Laura Neuman, President Carter, and working group facilitators Andrew Puddephatt, director of Global Partners UK, and Shekhar Singh, founder of the National Campaign for the People's Right to Information in India, during the final plenary.
Photo credit: Carter Center/D. Hakes
(Click to enlarge)

During the final plenary, Carter Center Global Access to Information Initiative Manager Laura Neuman and working group facilitators Andrew Puddephatt, director of Global Partners UK, and Shekhar Singh, founder of the National Campaign for the People's Right to Information in India, receive feedback from participants on the initial draft of the Atlanta Declaration and Plan of Action for the Advancement of the Right of Access to Information. President Carter moderated the discussion, promising broad dissemination of the Declaration at the conclusion of the conference.

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