Newsletter - Issue 2 (April/May 2013)

Greetings Colleagues,
As part of the information sharing mechanism under the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, we are issuing this newsletter once every two months. Through this newsletter, we share with you information on the implementation of the UN Plan of Action. It includes development from the first-phase countries (Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan, and South Sudan), various ongoing and upcoming initiatives that could contribute to achieving the objectives set out in the UN Plan of Action. We invite you to submit relevant information concerning your initiative that would contribute to the UN Plan.


San Jose Declaration Adopted at World Press Freedom Day Conference in Costa Rica

The 2013 World Press Freedom Day Conference concluded on 4 May in San Jose, Costa Rica with the adoption of the San Jose Declaration. This declaration calls on governmental and intergovernmental actors, NGOs and media professionals to support the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity in order to guarantee universal freedom of expression on and offline. Under the theme “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media”, More than 300 international participants discussed the issues of safety of journalists, impunity, and online safety. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to journalist Ms Reeyot Alemu of Ethiopia.


UNESCO and UNIC Rio launch Portuguese language website and publication of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists

To mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, the UNESCO Office in Brazil and the Information Centre of the United Nations Brazil (UNIC Rio) launched the Portuguese version of the “UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity” on Thursday, May 2nd. The document was prepared jointly by UN agencies, funds and programs to support the fundamental right of freedom of expression in ensuring that citizens are well informed to participate actively in society. The website,, was also launched on the day.


Strengthening Media Development Indicators on Safety of Journalists

During the World Press Freedom Day conference held from 2-4 May 2013 in San Jose, Costa Rica, an expert group met to discuss the UNESCO Media Development Indicators (MDI), specifically to strengthen and expand the component on measuring safety of journalists and impunity within the framework of the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. The MDI measures the safety of journalists in a particular country from the perspective of the UN and international mechanisms, state institutions, civil society organizations, and media professionals.. Contact person: Ms Soarla McCabe.

Human Rights and Freedom of Expression Training for Media

In collaboration with the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS), UNESCO, OHCHR, and UNMISS organized a three-day training programme on human rights and freedom of expression for South Sudanese journalists. The event brought together journalists from a broad spectrum of media outlets and was the first in a series of events to promote awareness of World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2013. The training was held from 17-19 April 2013 at the AMDISS Media and Resource Centre in Juba. Contact person: Mr Jaco du Toit.


Conference on “The Safety of Journalists – Current Challenges” in Warsaw

The international conference on the safety of journalists took place from 23-24 April 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. The conference was co-hosted by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Austrian and Swiss embassies and the Polish Institute of International Affairs. The list of Participants included Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary of State Henryka Mościcka-Dendys; Polish Minister of Administration and Digitalization Michał Boni; OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Ms Dunja Mijatovic; UNESCO Chief of Section for Freedom of Expression, Ms Sylvie Coudray; President of Reporters without Borders Switzerland, Ms Thérèse Obrecht Hodler; Mr. Oliver Vujovic, Secretary General of South East Europe Media Organization SEEMO; and Ms Irena Lipowicz, Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Poland.

Yemeni Journalists Trained on Principles of Freedom of Expression

From 25-27 February 2013, UNESCO, the Al Jazeera Media Training & Development Center, Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF), and the UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre trained more than 35 Yemeni journalists on the principles and standards of freedom of expression enshrined in international treaties and national legislation, freedom of information rights and the responsibilities of the press. The workshop, which took place in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, helped journalists to improve their knowledge of freedom of expression in their media coverage and to integrate references to the standards of freedom of expression in all the news, reports and programmes.



UNODC’s technical tool on good practices in promoting ethical and professional reporting on corruption

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is developing a technical tool on good practices in promoting ethical and professional reporting on corruption on the basis of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The tool will present the international legal framework and national legislation under a range of topics, including freedom of expression, access to information and related restrictions. It will also provide good examples on how to foster investigative journalism and measures to reduce vulnerabilities to corruption and promote integrity and fairness within the media sector. An international expert group meeting was held in Vienna from 10 -12 April 2013. The report is expected to be launched in August 2013.

OECD Toolkit for Integrity – Chapter on “Investigative Media”

The Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will complement its Toolkit for Integrity with a new chapter on the role of the media in fighting corruption. The chapter points governments to the most relevant issues – including the safety of journalists – in fighting corruption with the help of the media. A draft version of the chapter has been discussed at the recent Forum on Integrity. The final version will be published in late May. Contact person: Mr Helge Schroeder.