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News organizations standing up for the safety of media professionals

When, local time: 
Friday, 5 February 2016 - 9:00am to 5:30pm
France, Paris
Type of Event: 
Category 8-Symposium
Sylvie Coudray (s.coudray@unesco.org) and Marius Lukosiunas (m.lukosiunas@unesco.org)

UNESCO is organizing an international conference for the decision makers of news organizations, especially the owners, publishers, and editor-in-chiefs. This follows UNESCO Executive Board 196/Decision 31 which requests “the Director-General to convene a conference with high level representatives of news organizations from all regions, including community media and small media outlets, open to stakeholders, to be fully funded by extra-budgetary contributions, in order for them to share good practices on the safety of journalists and more proactively highlight the issue of journalist safety”.

The event aims to provide news organizations with a platform to discuss existing and new measures aimed to strengthen journalists’ safety worldwide and engage with Member States on these issues. The conference is hosted in partnership with the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the International Press Institute (IPI) and the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), The Open Society Foundations (OSF), Sweden, The Netherlands, Austria, Australia and Latvia. Please see the concept note for more information about the event.

UN has adopted a number of resolutions to strengthened safety of journalists. The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, while recognizing that journalists safety needs a multi-stakeholder approach  has identified the news organizations as one of the major stakeholders in the improving safety of journalists. Thus the event aims to raise awareness about the issue of journalists’ safety as well as to promote and share industry good practices to improve safety of journalists, to promote dialogue on the issue between media and Member States, and identify gaps for possible follow up.

Media industry and Media Organizations have adopted a number of guidelines and declarations aimed to strengthen safety of journalists and media professionals.

The conference is organized under the auspices of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and guided by a number of international legal documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as UNGA Resolution on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (RES/68/163) and the Human Rights Council Resolutions 81/20015 and 21/2012 addressing the issues of Impunity and the Safety of Journalists. It will also look into how to harness the opportunities opened for the UN Plan of Action by the newly adopted the UN Security Council Resolution 2222 on safety of journalists.