The Director-General welcomes endorsement of Human Rights Council Resolution on the Safety of Journalists
The 47-member United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council has adopted for the first time a resolution on the importance of the safety of journalist as a fundamental element of freedom of expression. Resolution A/HRC/21/L6 adopted by consensus as orally revised, stresses the need to ensure better cooperation and coordination at the international level with regard to ensuring the safety of journalists, and invites UN agencies, Member States and all relevant stakeholders to cooperate further in the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, elaborated by UNESCO and endorsed by the UN System Chief Executive Board for Coordination in April 2012.
The Director-General welcomes the endorsement of this resolution, which constitutes an important step in UNESCO’s efforts to join forces to put an end to violence against journalists. “This resolution is a major step forward. It is also a recognition of the hard work of UNESCO on this critical issue. Journalists too often pay with their lives the right to work and to inform. Everyday brings alarming news on the safety of journalists in countries affected by conflicts, but not only. This must stop. We must continue to speak out to ensure the safety of journalist and the free flow of information.” stated the Director General. The upcoming 2nd UN Inter-Agency Meeting on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity that will take place on 22 and 23 November 2012 in Vienna, Austria, will be the next important step towards making the UN Plan of Action a reality at international and national level.
The resolution condemned in the strongest terms all attacks and violence against journalists, and expressed its concern at the growing threat to the safety of journalists posed by non-State actors. It calls upon States “to ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy and effective investigations into such acts falling within their jurisdiction, and to bring to justice those responsible and to ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies”.