Ending impunity for crimes against journalists: putting resolutions into practice

For more information, please contact: r.de-guimaraes(at)unesco.org
Concept note (PDF - in English)

Webcast of the event available here.

Venue

ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

Time/date

2 November 2015 from 1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Theme

Together with the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN and the Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the UN, UNESCO will co-organize a High-Level Panel discussion that will focus on the issues of impunity and justice in regard to the safety of journalists. It will serve as the occasion to launch UNESCO’s newest report, entitled World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Special Digital Focus 2015, which shall be used as a factual basis for the interaction.
Another element to be incorporated is the reference in UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/2222 about underscoring the need “to enhance the coherent and effective implementation of applicable international humanitarian law and relevant Security Council resolutions including those on protection of journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in situations of the armed conflict.” Furthermore, linkages with sustainable development Goal 16, which recognizes the need for access to information, fundamental freedoms, reducing violence, and combatting impunity, will be examined as well.
The panel discussion aims to sustain momentum from UNGA Resolution A/RES/68/163 and UNSC Resolution S/RES/2222 and to contribute insights for the 70th UNGA’s resolution on ‘The safety of journalists and the issue of impunity’. It shall focus on the need to address implementation, relate to the SDGs, and draw on the latest figures on safety and impunity.

Partners

UNESCO, Greece, and Lithuania, plus Member states that played a key role in UNGA Resolution A/RES/68/163 and A/RES/69/185, as well as UNSC S/RES/2222 (TBC), such as Argentina, Austria, Costa Rica, France, Latvia, Tunisia, Serbia, and United States; Media; NGOs; Academia; UN Rule of Law Unit (in EOSG).

Participants

Panel

  • ModeratorProf. Rosenthal Alves, University of Texas at Austin, UNESCO Chair holder in communication
  • Ambassador Catherine Boura, Permanent Representative of Greece to the UN
  • Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaité, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN
  • Portrayal of Impunity case of assassinated writer-blogger Avijit Roy
  • Mr Veran Matic, Chair of Serbia's Commission for investigating killing of journalists 
  • Ms Delphine Halgand, Director of Washington Bureau, Reporters without Borders
  • Mr Edric Selous, Director, Rule of Law Unit, Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General

 

Audience

Member states, UN, professors and students in journalism and political science, Civil Society.

Summary

UNESCO will convene or co-host events in Paris, London, New York and elsewhere, on Monday, 2 November 2015, to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI). The events will also serve as an occasion to launch, in various locations, the forthcoming UNESCO report, World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development – Special Digital Focus 2015, which contains the Organization’s most recent information on the safety of journalists and impunity. The events can take forward the outcomes of the commemoration conference on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, in partnership with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which will be held in Costa Rica from 9 to 10 October 2015. They can also feed into and inform the UNESCO international conference ‘News organizations standing up for the safety of media professionals’ scheduled for 5 February 2016.

Background

The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 at its 68th session in 2013, which proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ (IDEI). The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. UNESCO is requested in the Resolution to facilitate the implementation of the IDEI.
In 2014, the first year of the IDEI, UNESCO co-organized an inter-regional dialogue at the European Court of Human Rights, in partnership with the Council of Europe; Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM), University of Sheffield; and the European Lawyers’ Union. In conjunction with several permanent delegations to the United Nations (Argentina, Austria, Costa Rica, France, Greece and Tunisia), UNESCO also organized a high-level panel titled ‘Ending Impunity: Upholding the Rule of Law’. Further events initiated by the Organization took place in Abuja, Accra and Tunis. 

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