23 Feb 2009

Workshop on right to information opens in Solomon Islands

2:36 pm on 23 February 2009

A UN official has restated that access to information is vital for development as a workshop on the right to information has begun in Solomon Islands.

Government representatives, civil society and media are at the three-day discussions which will focus on the right to information, making it part of the law and implementation challenges.

The United Nations Development Programme specialist Charmaine Rodrigues says the workshop in Honiara was requested by the Ombudsman following a regional workshop on freedom of information last year.

She says the aim is to get key stakeholders to recognise the importance of the right to information.

"Often people see it as an administrative right, that it's fine but it should come at a later date because it's not that important. We see this as a core development right. By giving people the right to information they actually get a chance of much more effectively engage in their own democracy and their own development because they then have the right ot ask questions and get answers from government."

Charmaine Rodrigues from the UNDP.