BISHKEK, 18 May 2011 – Promoting access to official information in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is the focus of a three-day training seminar that started today in Bishkek.
The event, jointly organized by the Office of the OSCE media freedom representative and the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, aims to promote wider access to information held by governments and foster co-operation between spokespersons and journalists.
“This training course for participants from several Central Asian states symbolizes the importance of the free flow of information and free access to official data regardless of frontiers. It is the duty of state officials and media members to ensure wider access to information, accountability and transparency of governments, to promote pluralistic media serving the public interest,” said Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, as she opened the seminar.
Over 50 participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will learn about recent freedom of information developments in the OSCE region and the implementation of this core right in their countries. The sessions will be facilitated by a team of international and local trainers. They will largely focus on the use of Internet technologies to promote government transparency and information exchanges between the state and individuals.
“Free access to official information is a key principle of a democratic society. The countries of Central Asia should benefit from the rapidly developing technology to make this principle a reality,” said Ambassador Andrew Tesoriere, the Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek in his address to the participants.
The seminar, funded by the United States, continues a series of training events on access to information, held by the Office of the media freedom representative in 11 OSCE participating States since 2005.