A Nigerian, Professor Hauwa Ibrahim, has been appointed into the Paris-based Global Information and Democracy Commission, an agency devoted to championing a free and pluralistic information and democracy.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that Mrs Ibrahim, who hails from Bauchi State, is a Human Rights Lawyer and 2005 Laureate of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize (Nigeria).
Mrs Ibrahim has been a Visiting Professor at Saint Louis University School of Law and Stonehill College. She is a World Fellow at Yale University, a Radcliffe fellow, and a fellow at both the Human Rights Program and the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard University, USA.
In a letter by the co-chair of the commission, the Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, the independent panel is being created to address the political control of information in a globalized public space, the influence of private interests, and the growing power of corporate actors who escape democratic control and the undermining of quality journalism.
“The Declaration’s function will be to state principles, define objectives for decision-makers and propose forms of governance,” the mission statement by the Co-chair says.
It must “constitute a point of reference that will mobilize all those who are committed to defending a free and pluralistic public space, which is essential for democracy.”
Mr Ebadi said the initiative’s ultimate goal is to garner international commitment by governments, private-sector companies, civil society representatives and the leaders of several democratic countries that will lead to a declaration and International Pledge on Information and Democracy.
According to a report by the Head of the African Desk, Reporters Without Borders, Arnaud Froger, the Commission, which is co-chaired by Mr Ebadi and Reporters Without Border’s Secretary-General, Christophe Deloire, has Nobel Economics Laureates Joseph Stiglitz; Amartya Sen, Peruvian Novelist and Nobel Literature Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa as members.
Other members of the Commission include, Abdou Diouf, former President of the Republic of Senegal; Francis Fukuyama, Political Scientist and Political Economist, Professor at Stanford University, USA; Marina Walker, Journalist and Deputy Director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, USA; Can Dündar, Journalist, Columnist and Documentary Filmmaker and former Editor-in-Chief of the Centre-left independent newspaper Cumhuriyet, Turkey; Maria Ressa, Journalist and CEO of the Rappler news website in Philippines among other intellectuals and leading journalists.