Informal Meeting of the Security Council on “Protecting Journalists”

When, local time: 
Friday, 13 December 2013 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
Where: 
United States of America, New York
Type of Event: 
Meeting by Member States or Institutions
Contact: 
Benjamin Cabouat, benjamin.cabouat@diplomatie.gouv.fr ; Viviana Arenas, varenas.sc@gmail.com

This meeting, organized by France and Guatemala, will bring together States, representatives of the United Nations, journalists and members of civil society. It will give an opportunity to listen to experiences of information professionals who work dangerous situations and to take stock of the implementation of Resolution 1738. By gathering various stakeholders in an informal fashion, the meeting will give an opportunity for an interactive exchange of views and ideas on the means to increase their safety in the field.

The meeting will be co-hosted by:
H.E. Mr. Gert Rosenthal, Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations,
H.E. Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations.

With the participation of:
Mrs Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO,
Mrs Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court,
Mr Christophe Deloire, Director General of Reporters Without Borders.

Context :
On 2 November 2013, two French journalists, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, were abducted and murdered in Kidal (Mali).

Seven years after the adoption, by the Security Council, of resolution 1738 (2006) on the protection of journalists in armed conflict, those who dedicate their life to informing us continue to pay a high price for doing their job. Through resolution 1738, the international community pledged to give increased attention to the issue of protection of journalists. However, since the beginning of the year more than 52 journalists have been killed and 183 are currently imprisoned worldwide. The majority of those attacks have taken place in non-armed conflict situations.

In July this year, the Security Council held a public debate on the protection of journalists in armed conflicts. For the first time, four journalists briefed the Council and shared their experiences of working in conflict situations. They highlighted the fact that, despite the existence of protective standards, attacks on freedom of information and on the safety of journalists are constantly growing and are rarely punished. The estimated rate of impunity for these crimes is 90 %.

On 26th November, the General Assembly took a stance by declaring November 2nd "International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists." The General Assembly also endorsed the UN Plan of Action on the safety of journalists, a UN-wide concerted effort led by UNESCO, which invites UN agencies, funds and programs to work with Member States towards a provide a free and safe environment for journalists in both conflict and non-conflict situations.