There are strong links between the right to free expression and information, and public participation and basic economic, social and cultural rights – particularly the right to water, health, a clean environment, and education. The right to information is considered an enabler right, which facilitates public participation in decision-making related to these issues, and allows people, as a result, to better access these rights. Ensuring access to information means national authorities can be held accountable for their management of public finances and public services.
In 2015, the UN agreed to adopt Agenda 2030, creating 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to focus the worlds’ efforts to fight poverty. Goal 16 aims to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. Targets for this goal include ensuring public access to information, reducing corruption, ensuring public participation, and protecting human rights.