Agencies work to advance UN plan for journalistsListen /
Strategies to implement a UN plan aimed at creating a free and safe working environment for journalists are the focus of a two-day meeting which opened in Vienna on Thursday.
The meeting has been organized by several UN agencies who report that more than 600 journalists, bloggers and others who work in media have been killed over the past decade.
The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists, endorsed in April of this year, also calls for assisting countries in developing laws that favour freedom of expression and information.
Frank La Rue is the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
“The multi-agency plan of action of the UN has to also be in support of domestic plans where the state assumes its responsibilities, the press can participate; otherwise the danger that we're risking is that yes, violence against journalists is being reduced in some areas because journalists are not touching the hot topics: they don't touch corruption at the highest level, they don't touch drug traffickers or organized crime, or they're not touching issues that relate to serious political conflicts.”
The UN action plan will first be implemented in Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan and South Sudan.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.