Newsletter - Issue 6 (January/February 2014)

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 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.

© CC/Knight Foundation

UNGA Adopts Resolution on Journalist Safety

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Resolution on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity at its 68th Session on 18 December 2013. This landmark Resolution “condemns unequivocally all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers, such as torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, as well as intimidation and harassment in both conflict and non-conflict situations”. It is the first time the UNGA has adopted a resolution directly addressing the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity. Read more.


Preliminary Results of the Global Survey on Violence Against Women Journalists Presented

Last August, the International News Safety Institute (INSI), UNESCO and the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), supported by Austria, launched a global survey on violence against women journalists. INSI and IWMF presented at the Global Forum on Media and Gender, held 2-4 December 2013 in Bangkok, the preliminary results of the survey, finding that almost two-thirds of women journalists have experienced abuse or harassment. The integral study will be launched on 10 March 2014 in conjunction with the Human Rights Committee meeting in Geneva. Read more.


UNESCO and Council of Europe Discuss Safety of Journalists

The Council of Europe is very interested to work together with UNESCO on the safety of journalists, said Andris Mellakauls, Chair of the Council of Europe Steering Committee for Media and Information Society, on Wednesday 4 December. The Council of Europe has taken increasing interest in the safety of journalists, most recently in a Political Declaration of Ministers at a conference in Belgrade. Further discussion will take place to consider next steps about possible joint research on journalistic safety and development. Read more.


UNODC Releases Reporting on Corruption Tool

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) published the Reporting on Corruption: A Resource Tool for Government and Journalists. The Tool complements multiple anti-corruption efforts by the United Nations, other international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the public and private sector worldwide in the area of reporting on corruption. It is designed to examine and highlight good practices – both in the journalism profession and in legislation promoting broader freedoms of opinion and expression – that can support United Nations Member States in their anti-corruption efforts.


UNESCO Joins Solidarity Stand on Human Rights Day

In conjunction with the Human Rights Day on 10 December, UNESCO joined in a Solidarity Stand in honour of all the human rights defenders, including journalists who bring vital news and information to the public on a daily basis.The Solidarity Stand, organized by the Public Liberties and Human Rights Department of Al Jazeera Media Network, took place in the Network’s Headquarters in Doha, Qatar. The aim of the annual event was to commemorate those who fought to defend human rights, including journalists who sometimes risk their lives and safety to expose corruptions or criminal activities. Read more.


Media Stakeholders Take Decisions to Fight Impunity in Pakistan

The Pakistan Coalition on Media Safety, a coalition created to implement the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, passed a resolution at the second meeting of its Steering Committee on December 18, 2013 demanding federal and provincial governments to designate contact persons on violence against media. The aim of the resolution is that media professionals, civil society organizations and concerned citizens may be able to get information on progress regarding specific cases of violence against media personnel. Read more.




World Press Freedom Day 2014 Focuses on Good Governance and the Rule of Law

The theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day is Reaching New Goals: Free media fortifies the post-2015 Development Agenda. The World Press Freedom Day 2014 is envisaged as a contribution to the shaping of the ongoing discussion around development after 2015. Specific attention shall be given to the role of freedom of speech and the media, openness, transparency and access to information in order to ensure good governance and effective institutions, as well as to journalists’ safety and the rule of law. More information will soon be made available on the website.


UNESCO Is Seeking Nominations for UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2014

UNESCO invites governments, in consultation with their National Commissions, as well as international and regional professional and non-governmental organizations active in the fields of journalism and freedom of expression to nominate candidates for the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. Its purpose is to reward each year a person, organization or institution that has made a notable contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially if risks have been involved. The deadline to fill out the form (English or French) is 15 February 2014. Read more.


Conference: Making the Protection of Journalists a Reality

On 7 April 2014, BBC Global News and the Centre of Freedom of the Media (University of Sheffield) will host a conference titled Making the Protection of Journalists a Reality: Time to End the Scourge of Impunity. At this one-day symposium, held at the BBC Broadcasting House in London, global media representatives will showcase examples of investigative reporting and legal actions that expose the realities of anti-media violence and help to ensure that governments bring perpetrators to justice. More information will be available soon.