France: Executive Board reinforces UNESCO’s work on the safety of journalists, impunity

Paris, France (PANA) - More than 60 Member States, across all regional groups, have sponsored a draft resolution on the Safety of Journalists and the issue of impunity, which was adopted, after two small editorial changes, on Friday, 28 April, 2017, without a vote.

According to a press release, made available here Friday, the final version of the resolution has not yet been published, but its text appeals to all stakeholders to redouble their efforts for the successful implementation of the United Nations Plan of Action  on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

The resolution also invites Member States to ”provide input to, and engage in, the Multistakeholder Consultation on Strengthening the United Nations Plan of Action on  the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, which will be organized by UNESCO and the United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, on 29 June 2017.”

In their resolution, the Executive Board further noted ”with  appreciation” the steady increase involuntary responses by  Member States concerning the judicial investigations of killings of journalists.

They strongly urged Member States to ”continue  to  actively  provide this information to UNESCO as part of the Director-General’s Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, and to develop effective monitoring mechanisms for this purpose”.

The resolution also encourages ”Member States with the support of UNESCO to continue building capacity and setting up  national safety mechanisms in order to prevent, protect against, and prosecute attacks on journalists and to combat impunity.”

Introducing the draft text, the Swedish Ambassador, Annika Markovic commended an increase in commitment by Member States in the United Nations to the safety of journalists. “A concrete example is the establishment of informal Group of Friends of Safety of Journalists with Member States in New York, Geneva and also here in Paris,” she said.

The Ambassador also stated that UNESCO has an important role to play in advancing Sustainable Development Goal 16.10 on public access to information and fundamental freedoms and in supporting Member States in strengthening national capacity in order to fight impunity.

Foreshadowing a specific emphasis in the resolution, Ambassador Markovic further noted that women journalists face specific risks, including threats, violence and sexual harassment.  

The final list of Executive Board members sponsoring the resolution included: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lithuania, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Uganda, Ukraine, USA.

Non-members of the Executive Board who co-sponsored the draft decision included: Canada, Finland, the Gambia, Iraq, Bulgaria, Liberia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Palestine, Slovakia, Latvia, Luxemburg, Palau, Austria, Namibia, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Cyprus, Croatia, Belgium, Portugal, Australia, Peru, Honduras, Tunisia, Kuwait and Guatemala.
-0- PANA VAO 29April2017

29 april 2017 15:04:11

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