Early this month, two EU-funded projects – NET-MED Youth and Support Media in Jordan – joined hands to support the celebration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).


The celebration took place on October 4, 2017 in an outdoors space at the Jordan University for Science and Technology (JUST) in Irbid. This year, the theme was “Powering Sustainable Development with Access to Information.”


The attendance at this TEDx-style event was a diverse pool of over 170 students, academics, and representatives of government, civil society, the donor and diplomatic community. They engaged in a public discussion on the role of access to information in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Jordan. The conversations highlighted the information needs of young people and persons with disabilities and the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can play in overcoming the various information challenges and societal barriers  facing youth. And to make the event spicier, a local band played traditional music from Irbid for everyone to enjoy.




“Access to information and knowledge is a key element to addressing inequalities, since it gives individuals the opportunity to make informed decisions that affect their lives,” said Anders Pedersen, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan. “Poor and vulnerable groups often lack information that is vital to their lives. They usually cannot access information on basic rights and entitlements, public services, health, education, work opportunities, public expenditure budgets, etc. They also lack visibility and voice to enable them to define and influence policy priorities and access resources.”


Indeed, IDUAI has particular relevance with the new 2030 Development Agenda, and especially with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 16.10 , which calls for ensuring public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms.




“Access to Information is embedded in the SDGs as Goal No. 16, Target 10 within the overarching aim of promoting peaceful societies,” said Costanza Farina, UNESCO Representative to Jordan. “Its inclusion reflects the growing recognition by the international community that peace and justice, as well as effective, accountable, inclusive institutions are at the core of sustainable development.”


The IDUAI event comes in the context of the global Talks organized by the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), and within the framework of the Regional ICT Accessibility Week in  Arab States, organized to raise awareness about the critical role of information in supporting holistic and sustainable national development.




“Future universities will have to adapt to the new age of complete democratization of information accompanied by its unlimited accessibility, and the impact it will have on teaching and research,” said Omar Al-Jarrah, President of JUST, as he elaborated on the strategic importance of access to information in advancing scientific research and academia’s contribution to that process.


Watch the livestream of the event in Irbid here: Part 1Part 2


In 2016, UNESCO designated 28 September of every year as the International Day for Universal Access to Information. NET-MED Youth has been a supporter of this initiative and others promoting access to information and freedom of expression for youth in the southern Mediterranean region.

In the field

Youth and Media


Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.

Youth and Employment


Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs. 

Youth Policies


Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.