Global Conference on Strengthening the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity

When, local time: 
Thursday, 29 June 2017 -
9:00am to 6:00pm
Where: 
Switzerland, Geneva 10
Type of Event: 
Category 4- International Congress
Contact: 
Mehdi Benchelah (m.benchelah@unesco.org)

This one-day event will bring together key stakeholder groups to take stock of developments in recent years, and particularly to identify key achievements, challenges, priorities and way forward. It is a strategic opportunity to produce recommendations for further strides toward securing safety for journalists and an end to impunity, in both conflict and non-conflict situations, during the ensuing two-year period.
The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity has become the guiding framework to address these topics since its conception at UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication and its endorsement in 2012. It has given impetus and fostered a spirit of co-operation between diverse stakeholder groups in many countries, including UN bodies and UN Permanent Delegations, media, civil society organisations, national governments and parliaments, intergovernmental organisations, judiciaries and law enforcement institutions, and academia. In 2013, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists (2 November) was declared by the UN General Assembly. Sustainable Development Goal 16 has a draft indicator that includes the safety of journalists, ensuring its inclusion in development efforts until 2030.

Norms have been proposed and adopted, a number of mechanisms have been initiated, and there is new potential arising from the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Given the momentum from this flurry of actions, and at the same time the continuation of the problem and its extension to digital space, there is a need to bring together the actors to assess their achievements, consider the future, and share across the different constituencies. The challenge to mainstream the issues into the appreciation of broader society remains an issue.

The conference aims to:
- Catalyse preparatory discussions within each of the stakeholder groups active in the area, so that each group can take stock of its contributions, of what has worked and what this suggests for next steps;
- Generate preparatory documentation from each stakeholder group, detailing what each specific constituency considers to be the priorities for strengthening the Plan ahead;
- Cross-fertilise the thinking from these processes in the Conference deliberations;
- Produce a Conference outcome document that can give direction and impetus to the specific as well as integrated foci of work for the subsequent two years.