Wednesday, 27.02

BOS 3: Back to the basics: freedom of the media matters!

Workshop
Metternichsaal

Alison Bethel McKenzie, Galina Sidorova, Frank La Rue, Dunja Mijatovic, Hadi Adanali, Gulya Akhundova, Martine Ostrovsky, Sylvie Coudray

The availability of information contributes to economic, social and political development and has the potential to provide a basis for conflict resolution and dialogue, if people are allowed to effectively exercise the human right to freedom of opinion and expression. This panel will focus on the defence of everyone’s right to the exercise of the freedom of expression and information, including the issue of the safety of journalists. It will also touch upon the promotion of the effective exercise of freedom of expression and information through teaching and education.

Rapporteur: Alison Bethel McKenzie

Moderator: Sylvie Coudray

People must be able to reach out to each other and engage constructively within and across communities/societies, receive and impart information, express themselves and exchange ideas: these are key conditions that must be achieved. Citizens cannot be boxed into their communities, with rarefied and homogeneous information and opinions. The availability of information contributes to economic, social and political development and has the potential to contribute to conflict resolution and dialogue, if people are allowed to effectively exercise the human right to freedom of opinion and expression. This panel will build upon Human Rights Council Resolution 12/16 of 12 October 2009 on Freedom of opinion and expression as well as on the work achieved by the UNAOC in this key field of its action, notably on lessons learned through the use of the media mechanism called “Global Experts Finder” (www.globalexpertsfinder.org), which provides high quality analysis to journalists and the broader public, as well as on findings and conclusions drawn from journalists training sessions organized all around the world over the last years. Debates will focus on concrete cases featured by experts and practitioners and experiences on the ground related to:

  • Defending everyone’s right to the exercise of the freedom of expression and information, including the issue of the safety of journalists;
  • Promoting the effective exercise of freedom of expression and information through teaching and education;
  • Promoting further the free flow of information, contributing to international understanding, a better knowledge of worldviews, cultures, religions, beliefs and traditions, respect for the diversity of opinions and the mutual enrichment of cultures;
  • Ensuring that new information and communication techniques and services, where available, are effectively used to broaden the scope of freedom of expression and information.

This Session will lead to the adoption of further joint action to achieve the above mentioned objectives.