World Press Freedom Day 2017


Mon, 1 May
9:00 to 13:00


Training Youth on Media Information Literacy and Civic Journalism

Organizer: UNESCO and Rappler Indonesia

UNESCO’s offices in Bangkok and Jakarta will team up with Rappler Indonesia to organize a one day training session for Indonesian youth on media literacy and civic journalism. In line with the global theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies, emphasizing the contribution of media and freedom of expression to Sustainable Development Goals, the training session will offer Indonesian youth hands-on training on media literacy and civic journalism, including creating social advocacy content either in vlog or written form about the issues that matter to them. The social media contents produced during the training will then be published on Rappler’s Rappler X platform.
Participants' requirements:
• 18 - 35 years old
• Demonstrated interest and passion in media, communication, civic journalism and other related areas
• Some experience in civic journalism and reporting preferred, but not required
• Fluency in English
• University degree or currently attending university


9:00 to 18:00



Organized by Ikatan Jurnalis Televisi Indonesia (Indonesian Television Journalists Association). More information will be made available soon.


Organized by Persatuan Wartawn Indonesia (Indonesian Journalists Union). More information will be made available soon.

Safety training for journalists

Organized by Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI - Alliance of Independent Journalists). More information will be made available soon.


Tue, 2 May
9:00 to 18:00


Re-shaping cultural policies for artistic freedom: Ministerial panel and artists’ panel

Promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of expression, information and communication is a prerequisite for the creation, distribution and enjoyment of diverse cultural expressions. These are among the core guiding principles of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the 1980 Recommendation on the Status of Artists. The recognition and protection of artistic freedom are germane not only to the creative practice of artists themselves but also to the rights of all cultural producers.
In the dynamics of social development, artistic freedom is an essential ingredient of the wellbeing of citizens and societies and for the stability of the cultural and creative industry sectors. The growth and flourishing of the latter are striking in countries that respect and protect the freedom of artistic expression. Freedom of expression for artists can be understood as a complex area of issues for policymakers, which includes measures aimed at protecting and promoting the economic and social rights of artists as well as their freedom of movement and of association.
During the 2016 edition of World Press Freedom Day held in Helsinki (Finland), Nordic Ministers of Culture adopted a Joint Declaration reaffirming that “Artistic and creative expression, as an integral part of the human right to freedom of expression, is critical both to the development of cultures and to the functioning of democratic societies”. Further to this, the Declaration welcomed “the important steps taken by UNESCO to enhance global monitoring in areas such as artistic freedom, gender equality, civil society participation and challenges in the digital age”, and encouraged further “discussions on the tools needed (…) as part of our national, regional and UNESCO’s normative systems.”
Bearing in mind global objectives set for the attainment of SDG.16.10 target on public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms, this panel of Ministers of Culture from the Asia-Pacific region will take forward the Helsinki discussion. It will discuss how Governments can take appropriate steps to promote artistic freedom throughout the culture value chain, from creation to access. The focus will be on the possible types of interventions for promoting gender equality, state-civil society collaboration and the unhindered movement of artists. This high-level debate will be followed by a second panel composed of artists and cultural producers, who will provide insights on these topics, and the new obstacles faced (visas, double taxation, etc) that can hinder free, fair and balanced cultural and artistic international exchanges.
9:00 to 18:00


Consultative Roundtable on the Feasibility of a Special Mechanism for the Promotion & Protection of the Freedom of Expression & the Safety of Journalists in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a diverse region geographically, politically, socially, economically and linguistically. The region as a whole, has made much advancement in many areas and lives of its people have seen improvement especially compared to a decade ago. However, the development of free, independent and pluralistic media in the region has been unequal. Where we see real progress for freedom of expression and a blossoming of diverse media, we also see restrictions, harassments and attacks against journalists, media workers and social media producers who engages in journalistic activities. According, to the latest UNESCO Director-General’s Report on the Safety of Journalist and the Danger of Impunity (2016), incidents of killings of journalists continue to happen in the region and at the same time, most cases remain unresolved. In Latin America, Africa, and the OSCE, regional mechanisms designed to promote, monitor, and protect freedom of expression especially concerning media freedom and safety of journalists have been established. Noticeably, there is an absence of an independent regional authoritative entity that serves to strengthen, monitor and protect the fundamental human rights of freedom of expression including its corollary of access to information, press freedom and safety of journalists. The creation of such a mechanism, whether in the form of a Special Rapporteur, a commission, or another modality, would have a positive impact on overall development of a free, independent and pluralistic media landscape, in line with international standards. Therefore, the proposed consultative roundtable is to deliberate, explore, and ‘brain storm’ on the feasibility of this idea. The topics of discussion include (1) Overview of different types of regional and international mechanisms; (2) Exploring possible models and mandate of such a mechanism in Southeast Asia, including where it would be hosted; (3) Reviewing the challenges and opportunities of establishing a mechanism for freedom of expression and the media in Southeast Asia; and (4) Possible recommendations, working paper, and the way forward.
9:00 to 18:00


Sharing of Good Practices with Newly Established Press Councils: A Special Roundtable

On 10 May 2016, five members of the newly established Timor Leste Press Council (TLPC) were officially sworn in by the Parliament of Timor Leste. The Press Council was established based on the Article 45 of the media law adopted on 19 November 2014 (Lei da Comunicação Social N.º 5 /2014). Just a year earlier, in October 2015, the Myanmar News Media Council (MNMC) was established, replacing the Interim Myanmar Press Council (MPC) as the regulatory body for the media industry. The upcoming World Press Freedom Day which will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia from 1 to 4 May 2017 offers an excellent opportunity to convene a roundtable with the TLPC and MNMC with experts on self-regulation of the media from around the world. Specifically, the roundtable would: (1) introduce the TLPC and MNMC to other more established press council networks around the world; (2) generate knowledge-sharing between TLPC and MNMC with more established press councils on issues such the day-to-day operation of press council and handling of complaints; and (3) explore future capacity building and cooperation opportunities.
9:00 to 13:00


Integrated Safety Training for Journalists

Organizer: IREX

This training introduces the integrated safety framework, which combines physical, digital and psychosocial safety, to address the needs to journalists working on some of the most pressing issues in highly challenging environments. The discussion introduces the practical sessions, by evaluating how integrated safety is applied at individual, community and organizational scales. Participants will be trained in three different tracks including: (1) Taking journalists through a simulated exercise, this exercise evaluates physical safety considerations to conducting an assignment; (2) What are the most critical steps a journalist can take to secure their digital safety?; and (3) How can journalists practically manage the stress of working in dangerous environments and conditions?
Participants' requirements:
• Journalists and media workers
• Fluency in English


9:00 to 18:00



Organized by Serikat Perusahaan Pers (United Press Company). More information will be made available soon.

Safety training for journalists

Organized by Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI - Alliance of Independent Journalists). More information will be made available soon.
14:00 to 17:00


Fact-checking & Social Verification Workshop

Organizer: Google News Lab and First Draft News

News organizations are adopting a multitude of strategies to combat the hoaxes, rumors and false claims that have proliferated online in recent years. This workshop will discuss the different newsroom models, followed by a two-hour hands-on training on online verification tools. Models include embedded newsroom fact-checking units, multi-newsroom collaborations (Electionland in the US and Crosscheck in France), social verification as a for-profit business (Storyful), and crowdsourced efforts (HKVerified in Hong Kong and TurnBackHoax in Indonesia). First Draft News and Google News Lab will lead participants in a hands-on training of the latest tools to fact-check and verify content.
Participants' requirements:
• Open to public but with a focus on journalists, media workers, and freedom of expression advocates
• Participants should bring their own laptops
• Fluency in English


Wed, 3 May
7:00 to 8:45

Registration (for all participants)

9:00 to 10:00

Opening Ceremony

10:00 to 10:30

Refreshment break

10:30 to 12:00

Plenary 1

Quality journalism: a public good for just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Sustainable Development Goal 16 aims towards just, peaceful and inclusive societies, where fundamental freedoms are guaranteed through effective institutions. This is only viable through a free, independent and pluralistic media sector that reflects these characteristics. Quality journalism, on or offline, based on professional and ethical standards, is quintessential in this regard, as it supplies the much-needed information for good governance and decision-making.
As a public good, quality journalism greatly contributes to the free flow of information and maximizes development efforts as well as their impacts. The more people participate in this flow of information, the more valuable it becomes and the greater the common benefit. It is vital to empower each member of society in taking part, especially those who are marginalized politically, economically, or socially. The fundamental freedoms of expression and information need to be guaranteed for any significant steps forward.
One of the key components of sustainable development is “ownership” of this ambition, whether it is personal, national, regional, or international. For positive change to take root, people need to become their own agents of change. Communication and information can foster this ownership by enabling public participation in decision-making processes and encouraging dialogue. Seeking, receiving, and imparting information by every member of the general public helps to build the foundation for the overall achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
High-quality public-interest journalism is costly, and the societal benefits are not always visible to those who own media for primarily political or business reasons. The financial challenges, in part due to the crisis of traditional business models, can often dissuade media outlets from striving towards high professional standards. When there is significant demand from critical audiences for in-depth and well-researched stories, such as by audiences empowered with Media and Information Literacy competencies, quality journalism is able to thrive and to contribute to just, peaceful and inclusive societies.
Access to information can be both a target in itself and a facilitator of all other goals of the 2030 Development Agenda. Media embody the fundamental freedoms that the Sustainable Development Goals aim to ensure across the globe, while also serving as the source from which sustainable development efforts and progress can take their cue. In this regard, the nature of journalism as a public good is crucial.
12:00 to 14:00


14:15 to 15:45

Parallel Session 1

Journalists’ Safety and Tackling Impunity: How can crimes against media workers be addressed?

The number of journalists killed annually worldwide remains alarmingly high while the threat to journalists' well-being is particularly acute in conflict zones like Syria where 14 journalists have lost their lives in 2016. Attacks against journalists have also proliferated in countries outside of conflict zones. Adding fuel to fire, far too often the perpetrators of crimes against journalists enjoy pervasive impunity as demonstrated by the annual reporting of Member States to the UNESCO Director-General. The issue of impunity feeds self-censorship on the part of both journalists and their sources alike, engendering repercussions for the broader public and their right for information.
International efforts to address grave issues pertaining to journalists’ safety like the UN Security Council Resolution 1738 in 2006 and UN General Assembly Resolution 68/163 in 2013 may have inhibited the situation from worsening, but they have also not yielded adequate results since the number of journalists' deaths has not subsided and neither has the impunity enjoyed by those responsible for the attacks. It is clear that a more coordinated approach is necessary to lead an effective fight for safety of journalists as emphasised by the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
An international framework is necessary but insufficient to effectively address the deeply entrenched issues. It is essential that international instruments are complimented by national safety mechanisms and other appropriate measures at a national level. The protection of journalists in danger and the prevention of violence against the media should be accompanied with the prosecution of those who perpetrate crimes against journalists in country. Only when these three dimensions are addressed effectively through a coordinated approach by media stakeholders, can the safety of journalists be strengthened substantially.
14:15 to 15:45

Parallel Session 2

Media and Information Literacy as a bulwark against hate speech, misinformation and polarization online – what good practices exist?

The digital age has vastly transformed communication and information processes and provided the means to the public to become content producers. With a low barrier to entry of sharing one’s views or creativity with a global audience, digital media has allowed for a democratization of the fundamental rights to freedom of information and freedom of expression.
However, this positive development carries with it a series of challenges. For the same reasons, digital media have made it easier for hateful discourse, fake news, and propaganda to spread, leading to distortion of truth and further harm to media and society. Moreover, personalized social media feeds are prone to contribute to the reinforcement of one’s beliefs, without providing a counter narrative.
Media and Information Literacy (MIL) serves as an effective way of countering hate speech, misinformation, and polarization online by empowering media consumers with the appropriate knowledge and tools to navigate the Internet wisely, and to interpret information critically. MIL enables citizens to shape their knowledge and understanding independently instead of receiving information passively. It helps in identifying attempts to manipulate identity through emotions favouring hatred and intolerance, as well as in reacting to hateful messages with rejection or counter-speech.
Furthermore, enabling users to interpret information critically, and to recognize the agenda underlying a news piece, allows them to recognize ideological orientations that inform media content in one way or another, and to become more self-reflective about what they take as “common sense”. Finally, MIL encourages Internet users to seek news that contradicts their beliefs in order to have a rounded view of the world and escape polarization.
14:15 to 15:45

Parallel Session 3

Fostering inclusiveness and gender equality through media innovation

Media as a whole should represent a verifiable and comprehensive image of reality, and individual journalists and media houses can contribute to this role. The media sector can reflect the diversity of opinions and perspectives of society, challenge stereotypes, and promote social inclusion.
The trend of over-representing elite or dominant segments of the population and of under-representing already marginalized groups – whether due to their nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability – can deeply affect society as well as the credibility of journalism. A balanced representation of all members of society through the media as a whole is an essential step in building more inclusive societies, and media innovation offers new tools and possibilities to overcome exclusion.
Mass media has undergone rapid changes in the last two decades: it has renovated itself radically by creating new media tools, platforms and services; it has accompanied the transition of its consumers from passive readers to active content-creators; and during this process, it has widened its audience. All these forms of mass media innovation can be applied to build social understanding, human solidarity and social innovation.
15:45 to 16:15

Refreshment Break

16:15 to 17:45

Parallel Session 4

Press freedom in Southeast Asia: the way forward

The right to free expression is universal, and includes the right to impart information to the public (“press freedom”), and the right to seek and receive information (“right of freedom of information”). In some countries of Southeast Asia, debates have sometimes portrayed these as individual rights that should be subsumed under community interests. At the same time, others have argued that such a distinction can be exploited by self-interested actors who engage in widespread suppression of individual rights in the name of culture or a supposed majority.
A further debate, on a global basis, concerns the balancing of rights, including in their online application. These issues are analysed in the UNESCO publication “Privacy, free expression and transparency, Redefining their new boundaries in the digital age” which will have its regional launch during this session.
Mechanisms for promoting human rights, including the rights to privacy and the diversity of cultural expression, have been put in place globally – such as in the form of Special Rapporteurs at the Human Rights Council and the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Regional mechanisms for Special Rapporteurs and courts on human rights exist in parts of the world, as do national human rights commissions.
In parts of Southeast Asia, such initiatives have yet to take root. The monitoring and reporting of press freedom violations happen mainly through civil society organizations and media activists. This session will explore the prospects that exist for the establishment of regional and national initiatives in Southeast Asia, and discuss the most appropriate modalities for the region. The exchange will build further on the outcomes of the pre-event meeting High Level Roundtable on Special Mechanism for Media Freedom in Southeast Asia, held on 2 May 2017.
16:15 to 17:45

Parallel Session 5

Media independence and counter narratives in fighting violent extremism online

Media organisations are sometimes enlisted in the development of counter narratives to violent extremism, with the risk that their independence, credibility and influence could actually be jeopardized by such a role. However, free and independent media can act as a lighthouse in the storm of aggressive and chaotic debate on social media, by providing a solid and reliable benchmark for online news and discussions.
Media can also introduce a sense of proportion into claims that the Internet is to blame for violent extremism. Current UNESCO research on social media and youth radicalization finds that social media can provide a facilitating environment for radicalization; however, there is no clear evidence of a direct causality between online propaganda and radicalization. Professional and critical media can provide a sense of reason and calm in the face of fearmongering by various sides. These issues are covered in the new UNESCO publications Terrorism and the Media: A handbook for Journalists, and Social media and the radicalization of youth in the digital age, which will be launched during this session. Further, independent media can play an important role in highlighting the human costs of violent extremism and the gendered realities of life as a recruit to violent groups. Violent speech can be delegitimized by giving voice to peaceful actors active at grassroots levels or to victims of terrorism and war. The voices of other actors – including religious authorities – can be cited to provide ethical, moral and ideological counterarguments in favor of peace and non-violence. Credibility can be enhanced by not shrinking from criticizing governmental measures that overreach into human rights abuses in the name of preventing violent extremism – including jailing of journalists and censorship of legitimate journalism. Preventing violent extremism can easily be utilized as a gateway towards undue restrictions on freedom of expression.
16:15 to 17:45

Parallel Session 6

Media coverage and public perceptions of refugees and migrants

Patterns in media coverage about forced migration vary according to the context and target audience, producing divergent storytelling on the same issue and potentially affecting public perception differently. The phenomenon of migration, a constant part of human history and development, has become the center of a harsh public debate with severe social and political implications.
The choice of words - asylum seekers, refugees, migrants or clandestine immigrants - has the potential power to influence public perception. The specific angle under which the phenomenon is analyzed - humanitarian crisis, security threat, effects on economy and welfare, emphasis on male rather than female asylum seekers - shapes the political debate.
Fast and short online news may create a superficial understanding, particularly because it often lacks in-depth analysis. Similarly, a tendency to sensationalism in some media may aggravate and exploit public fear, contributing to hate speech, discrimination, social exclusion and even violent repercussions.
Furthermore, media’s focus on certain issues and omission of others greatly affects public perception. Internally displaced people often face the same issues as migrants and refugees even without crossing national borders. However, not all of these issues are on the media’s radar.
Storytelling that ignores the voices of migrants does not contribute to public debate towards constructive and inclusive solutions. Through accurate reporting, informed by professional and ethical standards and humanity, journalists can highlight that there are moral, economic and cultural gains for host communities.
19:00 to 20:00

Award Ceremony of the 2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize

The Award Ceremony will be followed by the main reception and gala dinner.

Thu, 4 May
9:00 to 10:30

Plenary 2

Spotlight on Investigative Journalism: Perspectives from Southeast Asia and Beyond

Investigative journalism is seen as the pinnacle of quality reporting. It digs deep and unearths inconvenient truths, leaving no stone left unturned. Although well established in other parts of the world, this tradition of investigative journalism has until recently remained elusive in the countries of the Southeast Asian sub-region.
Globalization, mobile phones and other information and communication technologies (ICTs), as well as determined news outlets and journalists, have ushered in a new chapter in the regional and global media landscape. With the advent of the digital age and global interconnectedness, it has become harder to keep things hidden from the public eye. Institutions and other entities in both the private and public sector can be scrutinized more easily, with the increased availability of public files and the divulgence of information through whistleblowers. The means for in-depth investigations and exposés become more extensive every day, creating greater possibilities for uncovering and publishing sensitive information. Of particular relevance for investigative journalists are the issues of protection of the confidentiality of sources, and the use of encryption for communications.
The current trend of independent news outlets conducting in-depth research has broken ground with far-reaching examples across the region. Corruption, food and product safety, labour injustices, and environmental destruction are a handful of the themes that watchdog journalists have covered in their stories. However, the challenges remain profuse in Southeast Asia and the continent as a whole, including: restrictive legal environments, concentration of media ownership, a lack of available training and resources for comprehensive reporting, and targeted attacks on journalists, sometimes even resulting in death.
These obstacles have not deterred investigative journalists in the past nor in the present. On the contrary, investigative journalism in Southeast Asia has seen a promising start and continues to gain momentum. At the same time, this kind of journalism is costly and requires courage on the part of practitioners as well as media owners.
This panel will serve as an occasion for the regional launch of the new UNESCO studies Protecting journalism sources in the digital age and Human rights and encryption.
10:30 to 11:00

Refreshment break

11:00 to 12:30

Parallel Session 7

Capturing injustices through the lens

The ubiquity of images has become the staple of the digital age. The overload of photographs and videos on social media is but one example of how visual storytelling has become central to societies today. Enabled by ICTs and digital platforms, this abundance of images has deeply affected the ways in which injustices are exposed and made public. While photojournalism and documentary photography have a long history of depicting social grievances, citizen journalism has enabled the public to stay informed about acts of injustice everywhere and instantaneously. Mobile phone cameras have equipped citizens with the capacity to capture and quickly disseminate images of injustice that can potentially stir up the public opinion, from footage of police misconduct to scenes of migrants and refugees fleeing their home countries.
Without proper contextualization, videos and pictures depicting violence and injustices can easily be misconstrued and used to undermine rights to equality, privacy and dignity. In addition, sharing via social media and other outlets often lacks thorough analysis and alternative perspectives. The interpretation of injustices frequently occurs on an emotional and moral level, neglecting the value of critical thinking and Media and Information Literacy. In this news ecosystem, important questions arise about the fast dissemination of images, their value, and their capacity to create more just societies. Furthermore, with the rise of so-called “fake news” (perhaps better described as “faked news”), visual content used out of context has become the primary source of “truth”, highlighting the importance thereby of professional and credible journalism.
11:00 to 12:30

Parallel Session 8

Conflict-sensitive reporting unpacked

Violent conflict attracts extensive media attention, which can be used as a springboard for misinformation, manipulation, or suppression by interests seeking to profit from it. In areas affected by conflict, media can act to diffuse tensions. Insensitive and inaccurate reporting can exacerbate violence and create feelings of hatred in society. In contrast, balanced and sober reporting gives journalists the power to become active catalyzers for peace and development. Using the metaphor of columnist Thomas Friedman, it is a question of being in the lighting business, not the heating business. As opposing parties try to polarize media and reporters risk their lives, professional, ethical and reliable journalism becomes vital for mitigating conflict and building of peace.
Reporting in armed conflict zones requires greater analytical skills and a deeper understanding of the causes of violence. Journalists need to deconstruct mutual misconceptions of opposing parties in order to foster reconciliation and understanding. They also have the duty to report in an honest, fair and inclusive manner, actively contributing to a peaceful resolution. With new tools to access information, and the numerous conflicts taking place in the world, conflict-sensitive reporting is more relevant than ever.
11:00 to 12:30

Parallel Session 9

How fake(d) news and social media filter bubbles are impacting on the role of journalism in society 

News is not consumed the same way today as it was before the advent of social media. The increasing traffic of news on social media platforms circumvents the traditional channels of journalism. It relies on brevity and generalization, making it easy to share. This centrality of social media platforms in news consumption has become the subject of much discussion during the coverage of major political events in 2016.
At the heart of the debate, two issues in particular have taken central stage: the proliferation of “fake news” and the problem of “filter bubbles”. The increasing publication and dissemination of false information presented as if it were credible content, has triggered debate about the place that facts and reliable information occupy in democratic societies. The rise of so-called “post-truth” politics questions the traditional perspectives of rationality and the significance of professional journalism for decision-making. Furthermore, filtering algorithms that determine the information displayed to users on social media feeds have raised concerns about the development of “echo chambers”, reinforcing pre-existing beliefs, avoiding countervailing views, and resulting in audience polarization.
Together, these issues raise an important existential question about journalism’s role in society. Specifically, “fake news” and “filter bubbles” question the state of public interest reporting in the digital age. With public discourse increasingly mediated by a handful of social media platforms, media houses and journalists are faced with a skeptical audience. The media need new models and strategies to regain consumers’ trust and to ensure that biased stories and “fake news” do not overtake the flow of information. At the same time, some media itself become an active purveyor of untruths, manipulating facts for narrow political ends. This may win favour with some actors, but discredits this journalism for others who turn to social media as a more trusted source.


12:30 to 14:00


14:00 to 15:30

Parallel Session 12

Ensuring artistic freedom: a public policy challenge

“Artistic creation is free“- proclaims the Article 1 of the new French legislation on artistic freedom, architecture and heritage, adopted in July 2016. “Dissemination of artistic creation is free”, specifies Article 2.
Artistic freedom is a cornerstone of participatory democracy. Yet, while support for artists globally has improved over the last few years, many challenges remain. The implementation of the 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions affects significant contemporary issues such as freedom of expression and access to cultural life, digital technologies and the Internet, ease of travel for artists and social protection.
There is a need for continued or increased support in these areas identified to ensure meaningful progress in the sustainable development of modern and democratic societies. This includes adopting regulations geared toward improving the economic and social status of the artist, building on comprehensive laws to facilitate the mobility of artists from the Global South, developing policies and measures benefiting of the collaboration with artists and their associations, as well as other relevant NGOs.
This discussion is expected to provide inspiration for future strategic action and priorities of relevant stakeholders in this field.
14:00 to 15:30

Parallel Session 10

Internet Universality

The Internet has affected, facilitated and transformed nearly every aspect of modern life. As a result, the need for a descriptive and prescriptive concept to guide the conditions of Internet development has become more important than ever. Today, billions of users approach the Internet without being fully aware of how its different aspects relate to the whole. Meanwhile, the advent of the “Internet of things”, the attention-economy, the sharing-economy, disintermediation, and big data business models have complicated the picture even further. Issues of privacy, surveillance, blocking, filtering and digital safety have come to the fore in recent years.
Against this backdrop, “Internet Universality” as a macro-concept endorsed by UNESCO’s Member States, and which aspires to provide a comprehensive framework for the Internet that addresses different concerns through four universal norms: that the Internet be Human Rights-based, Open, Accessible to All, and governed by Multi-stakeholder participation (ROAM). “Internet Universality” aims to capture the enduring essentials of the medium and provides a framework within which it can be understood in full.
As a model, “Internet Universality” can help realize the Internet’s historic potential to bring the world closer to peace and sustainable development. It is closely interconnected with the aim of creating knowledge societies, where universal access to information serves to build peace, sustainable development, and intercultural dialogue.
For this reason, there is great value in taking a definitive next step in developing a set of normative indicators that can assess internet development. These Internet Universality Indicators will give a practical dimension to the ROAM principles, and enable actors at the national level to identify where there is room for improvement in Internet-related policies in their country. They will build on the experience of UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators and other indicator work under the auspices of the International Programme for the Development of Communication.
14:00 to 15:30

Parallel Session 11

The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity and its impact in the Asia-Pacific region

The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity has provided a framework and roadmap for reinforcing media safety and combating impunity over the last five years. Coordinated by UNESCO, the multi-stakeholder initiative has made great strides in raising awareness of these issues within the international community and the setting of global standards. The United Nations has adopted nine international resolutions and decisions during the implementation of the UN Plan, complemented by numerous capacity building trainings and visibility campaigns, as well as further academic research and the sharing of information. During this parallel session, participants will discuss and assess the impact of the UN Plan of Action, with reference also to the Asia-Pacific reion. Currently, the region does not have specific institutionalized mechanisms in place to monitor or counter crimes against journalists. Civil society and media houses have taken up the mantle of drawing attention to these issues and implementing measures. Press freedom and journalists’ safety are gaining traction as investigative journalism becomes more prominent in local media. It highlights the difficulties media workers face when pursuing a story. The outcomes of this session will feed into the Global Conference on Strengthening the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity that will take place on 29 June 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.


15:30 to 16:30

Closing ceremony: Adoption of the Jakarta Declaration