3-5 QERSHOR 2024


“We must remain firm in our commitment to foster the transparency of public authorities”, Commissioner’s Dervishi speech at the ICIC Open Session

Honorable Prime Minister,

Esteemed colleagues, delegates and guests,

I am deeply honored and privileged to stand before you today as the host of the 15th Edition of the International Conference of Information Commissioners.

In the present era, as society undergoes a transformation driven by advancements in technology and artificial intelligence, we are given the privilege of immediately accessing public data and information. However, the latter also poses additional challenges in the field of personal data protection.

The first law on the right of access to information dates back to the 18th century, but after the 1990s amid the proliferation of democratic principles even in the Eastern Europe, numerous European and Latin American nations adopted legal acts to promote transparency.

Nowadays, more than 120 nations across the globe have established legal frameworks that ensure the right to access information. This shows the remarkable expansion of our community throughout the years.

It is important to highlight that the media, civil society, academia and all stakeholders involved in this area are essential in advancing transparency through their continuous efforts.

At times, various concerns or demands can lead to intense discussions with each other. But we, the Commissioners, consistently try to strike a balance when it comes to upholding human rights.

In Albania, just like in many parts of the world, citizens often experience frustration when confronted with bureaucratic procedures, and we are aware of the fact. This happens when the required information is not provided promptly or when journalists require immediate access to information for their news reporting duties.

Nevertheless, despite these challenges, we must remain firm in our commitment to foster the transparency of public authorities while respecting the legal framework and ethical principles.

I firmly believe that by exchanging the best practices, harnessing the power of innovative technologies, and dedicating ourselves to constant improvement, we can overcome our obstacles.

In these modern times, we are surrounded from the technological revolution and the process of digitization. During times of crisis, when the provision of information becomes crucial and can potentially be life-saving, it is imperative for all of us to unite and work together to best serve our citizens, especially those who are marginalized.

The right to be informed is the cornerstone of democracy. Without access to information, it is impossible to uphold the principles of transparency, accountability, participation in decision-making, including the fight against corruption.

Last but not least, access to information is crucial in tackling environmental challenges and global warming, because disclosure of information enables the stakeholders, who are at the forefront of such efforts, to develop the adequate policies for a sustainable future.

Therefore, public institutions and state officials should be accountable, ensuring that transparency, in addition to being a fundamental principle, is also ingrained in our work practices and culture.

The journey ahead of us may present challenges, yet it also holds an extraordinary potential.

Together, we have the ability to shape a future in which information flows freely, abides by legal boundaries, and merges into the vast sea of knowledge, in the pursuit of empowering each and every individual, similar to the emblem of this Conference, the Vjosa River, which is the last wild river in Europe – watch the video presentation.

Let us commit ourselves to this noble mission and guarantee that access to information is made a tangible reality for everyone.

Thank you!