It is only natural that Librarians Without Borders, whose mission is to put information in the hands of the world, is proudly signing the Lyon Declaration, an advocacy document calling on United Nations Member States to make information access an international commitment.
The Declaration was drafted in 2014 by a group lead by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), “the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users”, and unveiled at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress on August 18, 2014. It was created in order to to continue the work of the The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a series of eight points seeking to meet the needs of the world’s poor. Ranging from halting extreme poverty, to stopping the spread of HIV/Aids, to providing universal primary education, the Millennium Development goals period draws to a close in 2015. A new set of world-improvement challenges to accept and act on is necessary.
The Lyon Declaration’s primary statement is simply that “increasing access to information and knowledge across society, assisted by the availability of information and communications technologies (ICTs), supports sustainable development and improves people’s lives.” It’s a belief that LWB lives by and practices every day through support of our partner programs in Ghana and Guatemala, and through student committee outreach in universities across Canada. Key points of the Declaration reinforce the radical concept that access to information supports development and empowers people to:
- Exercise their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights
- Learn and apply new skills
- Make decisions and participate in an active and engaged civil society
- Create community-based solutions to development challenges
- Ensure accountability, transparency, good governance, and empowerment
- Measure progress on public and private commitments on sustainable development.
IFLA, along with Declaration signatories – including LWB – will work in 2015 to organize events and activities to raise the profile of the Declaration.
We ask you to join us. Advocate access to information as a world priority. Empower underserved and information poor communities.
Make a statement.