DCMF participated in consultation meeting on the UN Plan on Safety of Journalists and Impunity

DCMF participated in consultation meeting on the UN Plan on Safety of Journalists and Impunity

DCMF attended the Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Strengthening the Implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity meeting in Geneva
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The Doha Centre for Media freedom (DCMF) attended the Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Strengthening the Implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity meeting in Geneva on the 29th of June 2017, in the Palais des nation.

The objective of the meeting was to review the progression of the plan and to discuss the recommendations provided by the many stakeholders and member states present.

the meeting brought together key stakeholders to take stock of developments in the area of safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, within the context of the first five years of implementation of the plan.

Member States, UN, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, media and professional associations and members of academia gathered to assess their achievements, consider the future and share best practices. 

The opening session under the title Strengthening and harmonizing the UN coordination mechanisms was moderated by Ms. Prouvez, the chief of the rule of law and democracy in the OHCHR. The session reviewed the various mechanisms mentioned throughout the draft recommendation list, Mr. Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, a speaker on the panel stated that there is a "growing number of attacks like digital surveillance are increasing against journalists, they are being spied on through their computers and phones." Mechanisms need to be implemented that protect journalists. Mr. Frank La Rue the Assistant Director-General for Communication and information in UNESCO provided a presentation in the opening panel, "Without human rights and freedom of speech, no society can flourish."

The second session of the multi-stakeholder meeting focused on sharing good practices by member states and regional intergovernmental organizations. The session discussed the various international standards that are currently in place and also went over ways in which capacity building, journalist safety and the judicial system can be strengthened to support journalists.

Mr. Ranga Kalansooriya the Director-General, Department of Government information in Sri Lanka and one of the members of the session stated that "there needs to be monitoring and mechanism systems on dealing with attacks on social media activists and they should be linked with social media companies." Mr. Edison Lanza the Special rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American commission on human rights, said that "One of the biggest challenges facing areas with high impunity is implementing rules through the judicial system."

At the beginning of the third session which discussed how to reinforce the work of professional associations, media, academia and other key actors outside of the UN, there was a moment of silence to remember journalists who lost their lives in 2016.

The session discussed the various ways that non-profit, non-governmental, academia and civil society organizations can play a role in strengthening and reinforcing the efforts to create freedom of expression and end impunity. Ms. Barbara Trionfi theExecutive Director of the International Press Institute stated that, “without safety there is fear, with fear there is self-censorship, with that, there is loss of vital information for society."

The final session discussed the various ways in which multi-stakeholders, government bodies, non-profit organisations, activists and media workers could play a major role in raising  awareness of the UN plan of action.

 

 

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