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Cayman Attends FOI Event

Cayman Islands delegates Carol Excell (R) and Brent Fuller.

Two Cayman Islands delegates, FOI Coordinator Carol Excell and Cayman Free Press journalist Brent Fuller, attended the recent Americas Regional Conference on the Right of Access to Information.

The two-day conference was held in Lima, Peru, with the aim of advancing the right of access to information throughout the region.

It brought together 115 representatives from 18 countries throughout the hemisphere, from Canada and the USA, to Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Delegates included representatives of organisations such as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the World Bank, as well as senior government ministers and administrators.

The conference was hosted by The Carter Centre, in collaboration with the OAS and the Knight Centre for Journalism in the Americas. The Carter Center was established by former US President Jimmy Carter to 'Wage Peace, Fight Disease, and Build Hope'. It spearheads initiatives ranging from fostering democracy to disease prevention and control.

Key discussions in Peru included 'Is Transparency a Luxury in the Face of Security Threats, Climate Change and the Global Economic Crisis?' and the role of the media in advancing the right of access to information.

The Cayman Islands delegates attended the presentations and also participated in working groups. The final remarks plenary discussion of the Draft Regional Findings and Action Plan was chaired by Former President Carter.

With the local launch of FOI in January 2009, the Cayman Islands is setting the standards in one aspect of the Regional Plan of Action; that is, the provision of 'clear and simple processes by which to request information, have limited exceptions to disclosure regimes, have independent appeals processes, proactively disclose information and promote transparency...'

Speaking of the relevance of the conference, Mrs Excell said, "It was very meaningful to learn about how to sustain our work on Freedom of Information and what challenges lie ahead, having a strong enforcement structure and building demand by the public to use their right to information will be key in the coming years."

She added, "It was a wonderful experience to learn from the work of other colleagues from countries across the Americas."

For further information contact: Lennon Christian