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Transparency and free expression matter for sustainable development

Web Foundation · January 23, 2015

As the United Nations prepares to agree a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this September, over 70 organisations  including the Web Foundation  are calling for the goals to include a strong commitment to government transparency, freedom of expression and association, and a free media.

In a statement released this week, we reminded world leaders that “honest and responsive government” was among the top five priorities voted for by 7 million people around the world in a UN poll, ranking alongside health, education, jobs and food security. We’re asking leaders to honour citizens’ wishes by making sure the SDGs include a stand-alone goal on transparency, accountability and participation in governance.

“Development won’t happen unless governments are effective and accountable, and accountability won’t happen unless all citizens are able to seek information freely, voice their opinions, and participate in public affairs both online and offline,” said Web Foundation CEO Anne Jellema. “A pledge to uphold these rights as part of the Sustainable Development Goals is very important to help reverse the rising tide of secret surveillance and arbitrary censorship that we have seen in recent years.”

Read the full statement to learn more about why we believe strong, accountable institutions matter beyond 2015.

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