A meeting dedicated to the commendation of the International Right to Know Day, 28 September, was organized today by the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, Transparency Serbia, OSCE, UNDP, Coalition for Free Access to Information, Journalists' Association of Serbia (UNS) and Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia (NUNS), with participation of a number of representatives of the media, NGOs, public authorities and members of the diplomatic corps. The addresses at the meeting were made by: H.E. Paula Thiede, Acting Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, H.E. Jürg Staudenmann, Acting UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia, and Commissioner Rodoljub Sabic. Special presentations at the meeting were also made by Mr. Andreas Bock of the "N-Ost" organization, Mr. Nemanja Nenadic, Programme Director of Transparency Serbia, and Ms Stanojla Mandic, Deputy Commissioner.
In connection with commendation of the International Right to Know Day, Commissioner Rodoljub Sabic said the following:
"This year, as previous six year, Serbia commends the International Right to Know Day. This year is special because it marks ten years of the commendation of this day. This is an opportunity for me to remind you that there are evident results in implementation of the Law on Free Access to Information, but that does not give us the right to be satisfied. The situation in the field of free access to information is not changing fast enough. Because of that, we are missing an opportunity to achieve necessary results in further democratization, downsizing of the government apparatus, establishing of better relations in the media sphere and, what I would particularly like to emphasize, in the fight against abuses, crime and corruption.
This is exactly why it makes sense to praise efforts and results achieved by public authorities which are improving their relations with the public on this day, commended in more than hundred countries across world in the same manner."
Award winners were selected again this year by the Committee on the Award for Contribution to Affirmation of the Right to Free Access to Information of Public Importance and Transparency of Work, the members of which are representatives of the Coalition for Free Access to Information, journalists' associations and the academic community. The awards were presented by the Commissioner Rodoljub Sabic.
As this year the Committee decided not to present awards in all categories that have become customary over the years, it did not present them in the categories of national authorities and judiciary.
A special award and a statuette for the greatest contribution to affirmation of the right to free access to information of public importance and transparency of work in the category of all public authorities was presented to the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. The Commissioner presented the award to Mr. Nebojsa Stefanovic, President of the Assembly.
Awards for the contribution to affirmation of the right to information were also presented to the Provincial Secretariat for Finance, the city of Pozarevac and the municipality of Nova Varos. The awards were received by Mr. Zoran Radoman, Provincial Secretary, Mr. Miomir Ilic, Mayor of the city of Pozarevac, and Mr. Dimitrije Paunovic, President of the Nova Varos municipality.
In the category of authorities nominated for the "Best Information Booklet of a Public Authority" award, the award was presented to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. The award was received by Mr. Milos Bugarin, President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce."