Secondments of Freedom of Expression Experts

Ramon Tuazon, UNESCO’s Yangon Antenna Office - © UNESCO

The secondment of three communication experts from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has enhanced UNESCO’s work on freedom of expression in Myanmar, Liberia and Libya.

The Norwegian Refugee Council’s roster, NORCAP, is one of the UN’s most important partners in organizing and carrying out humanitarian assistance operations. Through the deployment of expert personnel, NORCAP supports efforts to develop the media sector and increase freedom of expression in crisis and post-crisis situations.

In fall 2012, the NRC seconded Mr Ramon Tuzaon to UNESCO’s Yangon Antenna Office and Ms Luisa Yandem Piette to UNESCO’s Monrovia Antenna Office. Ms Jessica Hjarrand was appointed to UNESCO’s Project Office in Tripoli in spring 2013.

Overview of Activities

The NRC’s secondment of experts in Myanmar, Liberia and Libya has had a profound effect on UNESCO’s work in these regions.

In the context of Myanmar’s democratic transition and the recent return of exiled journalists, assistance in developing and strengthening freedom of expression and media freedom has been needed in the country.  Mr Tuazon’s secondment to the Yangon Antenna Office has increased UNESCO’s presence in Myanmar and provided further impetus to UNESCO’s initiatives to support media development and reforms.  Among Mr Tuazon’s priorities have been the enrichment of journalism education and the harmonizement of media development assistance in partnership with the government and civil society.

Another country in transition, Liberia has undergone challenges associated with post-conflict reconstruction. As experienced by other members of the Mano River Union countries of West Africa, violence and political unrest have made efforts to establish democracy particularly difficult. Working at the UNESCO Antenna office in Monrovia, Ms Piette has assisted the media and local government to enhance freedom of expression and information. She has also provided guidance in the creation of legal standards for a sustainable media environment.

Since the 2011 uprisings, Libya has experienced a period of democratic transition that has presented new opportunities for free expression and pluralistic media. Mr Hjarrand has led UNESCO’s work related to freedom of expression in Libya, including through the organization of World Press Freedom Day 2013 events and capacity building in election reporting. She also helped launch the country’s first Media Sector Working Group and has promoted the safety of journalists.

Development partner

Project timeline

1 November 2012 31 May 2014

Countries

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