Description of the Panel:
The right of access to information is enshrined in a number of international instruments, most
notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It aims to achieve important goals, mainly
securing the right of expression, promoting the correct practice of democracy, contributing to
the development of effective and accountable institutions at all levels, all essential keys to
unlock Lebanon’s entry to the “Open Government Partnership”. At a time when the confidence
of Lebanese citizens in their state is diminishing considering severe social and economic crises,
the Ministerial Anti-Corruption Committee approved the national plan to implement the Access
to Information Law in July 2020, following the promulgation of the law in 2017, in a process
closely followed by UNESCO. In cooperation with the UNESCO office in Beirut and the United
Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Lebanese Ministry of Information drafted a media
plan to raise awareness about the law and gathered representatives of most media institutions
in Lebanon in July, as part of a consultative meeting to discuss the plan. How is the current
access to information in Lebanon? And how is it affecting major decisions?

1. Manal Abdelsamad, Former Minister of Information. (Confirmed/ Zoom)
2. George Awad, UNESCO Beirut Communication, and Information Officer (Confirmed/
3. Arkan El Seblani, Regional Chief Anti Corruption Advisor, UNDP Arab States (Confirmed/
4. MP Melhem Khalaf, Former President of Beirut Bar Association (Confirmed/ Studio)
5. MP George Okais, Partner at EKP Legal Counsel. (Confirmed/ Zoom; might start a little
bit late because he’s arriving to Paris airport @ 12:35 Beirut time)
6. Assaad Thebian, Journalist, Digital media strategist, Business Development Manager
(Confirmed/ Studio)
Ghadi Bou Moussa, Reporter & Anchor at MTV Lebanon