The first ICIC was held in Berlin, Germany, in 2003. At the end of that conference, participants entered into a declaration of cooperation:
“Participation in the knowledge of public entities is a legal right of the information society. Without discrimination any person must be allowed access to the documents of public agencies. The transparent public administration open to citizen participation in its decisions is a prerequisite of a modern democratic society. The information commissioners and ombudsmen who secure freedom of information in their home countries are obliged to preserve and respect these basic principles. In order to foster a broader worldwide public awareness of freedom of information, to further analyse and define its vital elements and to benefit from exchange of experience, the undersigned agree to continuous co-operation in the international conference of information commissioners.”
Subsequently the conferences were held in South Africa (2004) , Mexico (2005) , England (2006), New Zealand (2007), Norway (2009), Canada (2011), Germany (2013), Chile (2015), and England (2017).
The conference was held every year for the first five years and started being held every second year from 2007 onwards.
Regulation on access to information and freedom of expression, its implementation and exercise of the right of access to information.
Declaration of Cooperation that constitutes the International Conference of Commissioners of Information.
Cape Town, South Africa
In the context in which South Africa celebrated 10 years of the establishment of its democracy, the ICIC was a space to share the experiences of various countries such as Mexico, Canada, the United States of America, France, Sweden, Portugal, Estonia, Germany and Hungary.
The value of transparency and accountability as a commitment to democracy
Declaration of Cancún, subscribed by the civil society organizations who attended the ICIC. The declaration highlights the following:
- It demands governments to advance in the application of the right of access to information in line with the highest standards.
- It urges to incorporate transparency and access to information into the agenda and practice of intergovernmental organizations, including financial institutions.
- It proposes that non-governmental organizations and private companies voluntarily adopt transparency standards.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Global perspective of access to information and regimes for its guarantee.
Manchester Declaration on Access to Information.
- The declaration calls on governments to respect the right of access to information in line with international law and best practices.
- It recognizes the crucial role played by information commissioners and similar independent oversight bodies.
- It urges urge all countries to sign and ratify the UN Anti-Corruption Convention, which requires States Parties to adopt measures that guarantee access to information.
- Technological development and its consequences for the citizens’ right to openness and transparency.
- Access to environmental information.
- Instruments for the effective application of access to information.
- The financial crisis and transparency – FOI’s role.
- The construction of access to information regimes.
- Beyond access: convergence between freedom of information, proactive transparency, and open government.
- The impact of technologies on access to information.
Resolution “More transparency is an international task”
- The resolution enshrines the right of access to information and supports its dissemination;
- It supports the Open Government Declaration of 2011.
- Transparency and government action;
- Transparency and limits of the private sector;
- Transparency and privacy: two sides of the same coin;
- Media and the right to know;
- Freedom of expression on the Internet;
- Open data and open government: freedom of information 2.0?
Resolution “Transparency: the Fuel of Democracy”
- It advocates for an effective provision of information that benefits from all the options offered by information technologies;
- It encourages to enshrine the right of access to information and the proactive transparency of government actions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966.
- It reaffirms the demand, formulated in Ottawa in 2011, that all States should join and actively support the Open Government Partnership;
- It requests that States ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents of 18 June 2009 (Tromsö Convention), being the first international instrument to make provision for the right of access to information at government agencies.
- The contribution of the experiences of collaboration and exchange of the management and implementation of the Laws of Access to Information;
- The use of mediation or other alternative mechanisms;
- Identification of measurement mechanisms in the implementation of public policies on transparency and the right of access to public information;
- Comparative jurisprudence.
- In the resolution, the Information Commissioners urge to work together to solve the challenges that the right of access to information is facing currently.
Manchester, United Kingdom.
- Defending the open society
- The future of transparency and access to information
- What are progressive information rights?
- Global models for access to information: how well do they work?
- Journalists, access to information and Open Data
- Showcase: access to information approaches
Elizabeth Denham the UK Information Commissioner and Rosemary Agnew the Scottish Information Commissioner.
Johannesburg, South Africa
The 2019 ICIC provided a platform for diverse voices to address current issues that impact on access to information, including transparency and accountability, competing interests, the rights of vulnerable societies and the divisive role of technology.