Afsané Bassir Pour
Director of the UN Regional Information Centre since 2006, Afsané Bassir-Pour was the correspondent of Le Monde, covering UN affairs from 1989 to 2003 in New York, and from 2003 to 2006 in Geneva.
The UN Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) covers 22 European countries, and was created after the closure of ten UN Information Centres in Western European capitals. Every year the Regional Centre launches a Europe-wide public information campaign on one of the priorities of the United Nations and in partnership with one of the UN Agencies, Funds or Programs. Other main partners for these campaigns are the European media, and one major newspaper in each country. The 2011 campaign is entitled ‘No to Violence Against Women’.
Alison Bethel McKenzie
Alison Bethel McKenzie has over 25 years experience in journalism, as a reporter, bureau chief, senior editor and trainer, working with the Boston Globe, The Detroit News, the Legal Times, and the Nassau Guardian. Before joining the International Press Institute (IPI) as Director in 2009, she spent a year in Accra, for the Washington-based International Center for Journalists, as a Knight International Journalism Fellow, helping Ghanaian journalists improve their reporting skills in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election. She has been director of IPI since February 2011.
Vienna-based IPI is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the protection of freedom of expression, the promotion of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the practices of journalism. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and winner of the Emmy, IPI also operates the Bangladesh Free Media Centre and the South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO).
Irina Bokova is Director-General of UNESCO. A former Bulgarian ambassador to France and Monaco she was elected for four years in 2009. Other posts she has held include personal representative of the Bulgarian president to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and permanent delegate to UNESCO from 2005 to 2009. During her long and distinguished career, she also served as Bulgaria's representative to the United Nations and as her country's secretary of state for European integration and foreign minister. Born in 1952, she obtained an MBA from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and studied at the universities of Maryland and Harvard in the USA. Ms Bokova has long promoted the transition to European integration. As founder and chairperson of the European Policy Forum, she worked to overcome divisions in Europe and promote the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and rights. >> Speech
Catalina Botero Marino
Catalina Botero is the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Before assuming this role in July 2008, Dr. Botero Marino worked as an Auxiliary Magistrate and Acting Magistrate at the Constitutional Court of Colombia. Her previous positions include: Adviser to the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Nation of Colombia; National Director of the Office for the Promotion of Human Rights in the Office of the Ombudsman of Colombia, Director of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law at the NGO ‘Fundación Social’, and professor and researcher at the law school of the Universidad de los Andes as well as other universities in Colombia and abroad. She is the author of several books and essays published in various countries on freedom of expression, constitutional law, international criminal law and transitional justice.
Emmanuel Boutterin, magistrate, is the Vice-president of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), officially recognized by UNESCO since 1986. He is notably responsible for the MENA regional zone of operation, as well as occupying the role of President of the Syndicat National des Radios Libres in France (Europe’s largest federation of community radios and associates), and being a member of the Conseil Supérieur de la Propriété Littéraire et Artistique as a representative on broadcasting.
Founded in 1983, AMARC unites over 4000 community radios, federations, experts and partners of community media across 114 countries. It promotes the right to freedom of expression on an international, national and local level, working within towns, rural areas, and in sensitive zones across the world. AMARC’s goal is to defend and promote the interests of community radios based on the principles of solidarity and international cooperation.
Dr Agnès Callamard is the Executive Director of ARTICLE 19. Under her direction, ARTICLE 19 has strengthened its leadership of cutting edge public policy issues, and grown in size with the opening of 5 regional offices across the world. Agnès founded and led HAP (Humanitarian Accountability Partnership), the first international self-regulatory body for humanitarian actors. At HAP she oversaw field trials on accountability to beneficiaries in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Sierra Leone. Dr Callamard is the former Chef de Cabinet for the Secretary General of Amnesty International (AI). She played a key role in establishing an effective senior management system and also led AI’s policy work on women’s human rights. Agnès has investigated human rights abuses throughout the world and worked extensively in the field of refugee and IDPs movements. She has published broadly and holds a PhD in Political Science from the New School in New York.
Eric Chinje currently leads the Global Media Program at the World Bank Institute (WBI) and, in this role, has launched the IMAGE (Independent Media for Accountability, Governance and Empowerment) Network and Academy to build a corps of development journalists in the Bank’s client countries. Prior to that, he was the External Affairs and Communications Manager in the Bank’s Africa Region and the institution's spokesperson on Africa. He returned to the Bank after four years with the African Development Bank in Tunis where he was head of the institution’s External Affairs and Communications Unit. He is on the Board of the African Media Initiative (AMI) which he was instrumental in establishing, and is a Founding Co-Convenor of the African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF). Mr Chinje studied in the universities of Yaounde (Cameroon), Syracuse (New York) and Harvard (Massachusetts), and has since written and lectured extensively on Communication and Development in Africa. He served as Vice Chair of the World Bank/IMF Africa Club from 1996-2002 and was Editor in Chief of Cameroon Television, as well as being a contributing correspondent for CNN World Report, a stringer for the BBC World Service, Voice of America, and Deutschewelle Radio at various times between 1984-1991.
Jane Connors joined the United Nations in 1996, and is the Chief of the Special Procedures Branch of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which supports the thematic mandates of the Human Rights Council. Previously, she was a senior human rights officer in the Human Rights Treaties Branch, responsible for activities relating to the reform of the treaty body system, and was the OHCHR focal point for the Secretary-General’s study on violence against children. She also served for six years as Chief of the Women’s Rights Section in the UN Division for the Advancement of Women.
Prior to joining the UN, she was a law teacher at various universities in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has published on the human rights treaty bodies, the human rights of women and children and violence against women.
Annie Game is the Executive Director of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX ), a network of 95 freedom of expression organizations. She is also Executive Director of the Toronto-based organization Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), which promotes and defends free expression on a national level.
Formerly Annie worked as a director with War Child Canada, Canada World Youth and Save the Children. She has an extensive background working internationally with diverse communities and partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as experience in freelance writing and radio.
William Horsley is the International Director of the Centre for Freedom of the Media at the University of Sheffield, and Co-Director of the Initiative on Impunity and the Rule of Law, a joint project of the University of Sheffield and the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism at City University London. He arranged the Working Conference in London on 1 June 2011 on Safety and Protection of Journalists: a Responsibility for the World. In 2009 he wrote the Respect for Media Freedom background paper for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He has worked on freedom of expression projects with the Council of Europe, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Association of European Journalists, of which he is UK Chairman and Media Freedom Representative. He is a former BBC News foreign correspondent and writes widely on international affairs.
Born in Bordeaux, aged 38, and the father of two children, Jean-François Julliard studied cinema, broadcasting and journalism in Paris and has a Higher Specialised Studies Diploma in journalism techniques from the French Press Institute of the University of Paris 2.
He joined Reporters Without Borders as a member of the Asia desk in 1998 and was head of the Africa desk for several years before being appointed head of research in 2004 and Deputy Secretary-General in the spring of 2008. He played an active role in the campaign to boycott the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, participating in the protest at the Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in Olympia. He was appointed Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General on 28 September 2008.
Before assuming duties as UNESCO´s Assistant Director General of Communication and Information, Ambassador Kārkliņš was Latvian Ambassador to France, Andorra, Monaco and UNESCO, and Permanent Representative of Latvia to the UN in Geneva. During his stay in Geneva, he was First Vice-Chairman, and one year later Chairman of the Council of the International Organization for Migration. He held several elected posts in the World Intellectual Property Organization and UN Commission of Science and Technology for Development, and presided over the Group of Governmental Experts on Cluster Munitions within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. He was Vice-President of the Preparatory Committee of the Geneva Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and President of the Preparatory Committee of the Tunis Phase of WSIS. Ambassador Kārkliņš represented Latvia in the Governmental Advisory Committee of ICANN and Chaired this Committee from 2007 until June 2010. He was previously Under-secretary of State in Latvia and Counsellor in the Latvian Embassies in France and Finland. He has an engineering degree from the Riga Technical University (Latvia) and attended an Executive Education Program for Eastern European diplomats at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University (USA).
Kwame Karikari is the executive director of the Media Foundation for West Africa, a press freedom/freedom of expression advocacy and promotion organisation based in Accra, Ghana. MFWA covers all 15 countries in the Economic Community of West African States and Mauritania, engaging in media law reform, legal defence of journalists, press freedom monitoring, and in protection for persecuted journalists. For several years, Karikari has been a professor in journalism and mass communication at the University of Ghana, as well as training journalists in other African countries. Throughout and prior to this time, he practiced as a journalist, and served as director general of the public Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in the early 1980s. He has also been an activist, pursuing social justice and human rights causes in Africa, including democratic reforms in Ghana, and serves on the boards of a number of human rights organisations and academic publications. He was educated at the City College of New York and Columbia University in New York.
Jan Kleijssen was born in 1958 in Almelo (The Netherlands). He studied International Law at Utrecht State University (LLM in 1981) and International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa (MA 1982). He joined the Council of Europe in 1983 as a Lawyer with the European Commission of Human Rights. Having served as Director of the Secretary General's Private Office and as the Special Adviser to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, he is currently the Director of Standard-Setting, Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs, of the Council of Europe. He is the author of several publications in the field of human rights and international relations.
Frank La Rue
Frank La Rue is the United Nations´ Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Opinion and Expression. Holder of a postgraduate degree in U.S. foreign policy from Johns Hopkins University, he has worked on human rights for the past 25 years. He is the founder of the Centre for Legal Action for Human Rights (CALDH) which became the first Guatemalan NGO to bring cases of human rights violations to the Inter-American System and to promote economic, social and cultural rights. As a human rights activist, his name was presented to the Nobel Peace Prize committee in 2004. He has previously served as a Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala, as a Human Rights Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, as President of the Governing Board of the Centro-American Institute of Social Democracy Studies and as a consultant to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Philippe Leclerc is the Representative for France and Monaco of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Coming from a legal background, he has worked for the HCR since 1990, carrying out his duties in Cameroon (1990-1992), Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia (1993), Slovenia (1994-1995), Brussels (1996), and Switzerland and Liechtenstein (1996-2000). In 2001 he was responsible for the organization of the first ministerial gathering of the States Parties to the Geneva Convention on the status of refugees, within the framework of world consultations on the protection of refugees, marking the 50th anniversary of the Convention. He subsequently worked in Afghanistan from 2002-2003, before taking charge of the Division of International Protection’s Statelessness Unit, working at the HCR Headquarters from 2004-2008 and as Deputy Representative in Syria from 2008-2010. He has also written a range of publications and articles, most notably on the themes of statelessness and nationality.
Patricia Lusweti joined the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 1993, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of ITU News, where she plans, coordinates, directs and produces 10 issues of the magazine annually, both in print and online, in six languages. She has initiated thematic editions to track global trends in telecommunications, broadening the magazine’s scope to monitor and report on information and communication technologies. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics & Contemporary Literature and a BA in Linguistics, Literature and Political Science.
ITU is the leading UN agency for information and communication technologies, with the mission to connect the world. Supported by a membership of 192 countries and over 700 private sector entities, ITU manages the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits internationally, works to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishes global standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communication systems.
Jean-Paul Marthoz is Europe’s Senior Advisor for the Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-profit organization which promotes press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. He is the foreign affairs columnist and blogger for the Belgian daily Le Soir and associate editor of Europe’s World, as well as teaching international journalism at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), and Ethics in international journalism at the Institute of Higher Studies of Social Communications (IHECS, Brussels).
Marthoz is currently also Vice-chair of the advisory Council of Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia division and a senior advisor with the Panos-Paris Institute, and has written and co-written some 20 books on journalism and foreign policy.
Appointed OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media in early 2010, Dunja Mijatović is an expert in media law and regulation from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The function of the Office of the Representative is to assist participating States by observing relevant media developments with a view to providing early warnings on violations of freedom of expression, and by advocating and promoting full compliance with OSCE principles and commitments regarding freedom of expression and free media.
In 1998, as one of the founders of the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mijatović helped create a legal, regulatory and policy framework for the media in a complex post-war society, as well as being involved in setting up a self-regulatory Press Council and the first Free Media Helpline in South East Europe. She has also previously chaired the European Platform of Regulatory Agencies, and the Council of Europe's Group of Specialists on freedom of expression and information in times of crisis.
Moira O’Brien-Malone is head of communications at the United Nations Environment Programme’s Paris-based Division of Technology, Industry and Economics. Before joining UNEP in 2009, she managed the communications department at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and served as head of media and external relations at WWF International. She also worked as a journalist and editor for over 25 years in Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Created in 1972, UNEP represents the environmental conscience of the UN. Based in Nairobi, its mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. The Division of Technology, Industry and Economics leads UNEP's work in the areas of climate change, resource efficiency, the green economy, and harmful substances and hazardous waste.
Rodney Pinder is Director of the International News Safety Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to the safety of journalists and other news workers in areas of danger. INSI is an unprecedented coalition of the news media and individual journalists, media freedom groups, journalist unions and humanitarian campaigners. It acts as a safety information exchange for the news industry and raises funds from international donors to provide basic safety training, free of charge for journalists and other news workers around the world who are unable to afford their own.
Pinder is a former senior foreign correspondent and news executive for Reuters. He retired in 2002 after four years as global Editor of Reuters Television News and 37 years covering international affairs and conflict in three hemispheres.
Adam Rogers is the Senior Communications Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme’s Regional Liaison Office in Geneva, Switzerland. In this capacity, he advises the organization on donor relations, advocacy and public affairs for Western Europe. He also supports UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy, particularly in the areas of communication for development, access to information, and communication for empowerment. He is an advisor to UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, supporting the organization’s immediate crisis relief system, serving most recently in Haiti immediately after the earthquake. Prior to joining the UN system in 1994, he worked as a journalist, an author, and as an entrepreneur.
UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources. It works through a network of 129 country offices, delivering $5 billion in development assistance annually to 176 countries worldwide.
Adv. Pansy Tlakula
Adv. Tlakula was appointed as a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) in 2005. She holds the portfolio of Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa. In 2011, Adv. Tlakula was reappointed to the Commission. The ACHPR is established within the terms of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and is responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa.
Adv. Tlakula was one of the first members of the South African Human Rights Commission, and is currently the Chief Electoral Officer of the Electoral Commission of South Africa.
Gayathry Venkiteswaran is Executive Director of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, a network representing media freedom groups from four countries in the region. She previously served as Director of the Centre for Independent Journalism, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing media freedom and people's access to information in Malaysia. She has worked as a journalist and has also taught journalism and media history in private colleges. She has an MA in International Relations from the Australian National University and a Bachelor in Mass Communication from Universiti Sains Malaysia.