Morocco and the UNESCO have agreed to cooperate on expanding Moroccans’ access to information.
Rabat – Golda El Khoury, the director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) office in Rabat and Mohamed Benabdelkader, the Moroccan minister delegate in charge of administration reform signed an action plan on the right to access to information on Monday in Rabat.
The plan is part of the implementation of a cooperation agreement signed by UNESCO and Morocco on October 30, 2017 in Paris, to launch joint programs allowing better access to information, reported Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
The main objective of the action plan is to enable Moroccan citizens to access “detailed and transparent” information and gain close knowledge about updates and events in Morocco to exercise their own voices and make decisions based on accurate data and contribute to the democratic process in the country.
The plan also seeks to reform and develop media and communication services, provide training to authorities in charge of relaying information to the public, and produce a guide to the proper use of law 13.31.
Law 13.31, contains 8 articles dictating that all Moroccan citizens have the right to access information, and aiming to ensure transparency, counter corruption, boost the administration’s openness, and establish a culture of good governance and democracy.
The agreement strives to thoroughly implement the law as it is “a fundamental right for every person in every country,” said Golda.
The action plan is in the framework of UNESCO’s intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP), established in 2001, through which “member and partner governments pledge to harness the new opportunities of the information age to create equitable societies through better access to information.”
Although the Moroccan 2011 Constitution stipulates the right to information, Moroccans’ access to information continues to be limited.
Morocco enjoys partial freedom when it comes to access to content on the internet, according to the 2018 Freedom on the Net report.
In the country, the state can shut down publications “prejudicial to Islam, the monarchy, territorial integrity, or public order” and issue prison sentences and heavy fines on publishers of infringing content. News criticizing the monarchy does not exist in Morocco, notes the report.