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UN to discuss UNESCO report on press freedom, role of free media in the post-2015 development agenda

The United Nations launch of UNESCO’s report on World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development and a panel discussion on the role of media freedom and access to information in the post-2015 development agenda will take place on Wednesday, 9 July at UN headquarters in New York.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and H.E. Mr Mårten Grunditz, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations will open the session. 

Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University in the City of New York and a noted First Amendment scholar, will present a keynote address. Bollinger recently established the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression and Information Project, an initiative joining international experts and activists with the university’s faculty and students.

World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development offers a new look at recent evolutions in media freedom, independence, pluralism and safety. These areas are explored at the international level and with respect to gender and global media.

The report was launched in March 2014 in Stockholm by UNESCO’s Director General. Six regional overviews were released in May 2014 as an online companion to the global report.

The publication comes at a critical moment for press freedom amid unprecedented opportunities for expression of new voices as well as new forms of restriction, surveillance and control.

The launch and conference at the UN is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. this Wednesday in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium.

The event will be streamed live at and tweeted with the hashtags #mediatrends and #pressfreedom.

Following the opening addresses, a panel discussion will be moderated by Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists Joel Simon with the participation of:

  • Karin Karlekar,  Project director of Freedom of the Press, Freedom House
  • Veni Markovski,  Vice President - Global Stakeholder Engagement, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
  • Raza Rumi, public policy specialist and noted writer and editor of several Pakistan media

World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development was produced with support from the Government of Sweden.