10.09.2013 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

UN Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists presented to journalists in Kathmandu

©UNESCO -Axel Plathe, UNESCO Representative to Nepal welcoming the journalists

As part of its campaign to help improve the safety situation of journalists in Nepal, the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu organized an orientation workshop for journalists on the UN Plan of Action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity in Kathmandu on Monday.

As part of its campaign to help improve the safety situation of journalists in Nepal, the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu organized an orientation workshop for journalists on the UN Plan of Action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity in Kathmandu on Monday.

The plan of action has been developed by the United Nations to put an end to the violence against media workers by building an overreaching framework for the UN system to work together with all the stakeholders to create a safe environment for journalists, media workers and social media producers and to combat impunity for crimes against them.

Expressing concern over the frequent violence against journalists worldwide and in Nepal, UNESCO Representative to Nepal, Axel Plathe said that the Plan of Action provides an overarching framework for the UN system to work together with all stakeholders to create a safe environment for journalists and media workers to combat impunity for crimes against them.Development Communication Expert Pius Mishra stressed on the need of a single, strategic and harmonious approach to reduce, if not totally end, the impunity enjoyed by those who attack media workers.

Mishra also outlined the steps to be taken to achieve the goals set by the action plan. Major role of the project would be to facilitate developing legislations, push for the full implementation of all international conventions, setting up of fast track court and encouraging member states to take active role in the prevention of attacks.  Stating that the freedom of information is an individual as well as collective right, he said that right is entertained only if journalists feel safe.

FNJ President Shiva Gaunle said that media workers worldwide are in constant battle against governments as those in the power do not like criticisms. Media in Nepal is in a precarious position because of the overall climate of instability in the country. "Ideally, media's role as the fourth estate was seen as moving ahead criticizing the moves of the government, judiciary and parliament. But at present there is no parliament and the all the lines between government and judiciary are blurred."

Regarding the threat facing journalists, Gaunle acknowledged that there are both internal and external threats, but said that along with raising the issue of journalists' safety, it is important to ensure that journalists act responsibly and accountability.   

Laxman Datt Pant, Project Coordinator of the project ‘Increasing the Safety of Journalists’ said that the project envisages creating a national mechanism with the involvement of National Human Rights Commission and other state bodies like judiciary and security agencies.

The project ‘Increasing the Safety of Journalists’ is financed by the UN Peacebuilding Fund. It involves diverse activities with multiple stakeholders for improving the security situation of journalists and media professionals by engaging media, security agencies, legal entities and public.

Participants of the orientation workshop on 9 September 2013 included journalists from major media houses including radio and television channels, newspapers and online media. Some fifty journalists including twenty women participated in the workshop. 


Related Link:

UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity




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