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NewsOHCHR is calling for Info on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity

OHCHR is calling for Info on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity

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The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is calling  for information on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity to be included in the UNSG report to be presented to the General Assembly.
The email sent out by the OHCHR  follows:
This message is in reference to the General Assembly resolution 68/163 on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.
Paragraph 8 of the resolution requests the Secretary-General to report to at its sixty-ninth session on the implementation of the resolution.
Accordingly, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights would be most grateful to receive from your organization any relevant information with regard to the implementation of the resolution, in particular regarding efforts from Member States to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, ensure accountability for acts of violence against journalists and media workers falling within their jurisdiction, and to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference, specifically by means of: (a) legislative measures; (b) awareness-raising among relevant entities and individuals regarding international human rights and humanitarian law obligations relating to the safety of journalists; (c) monitoring and reporting of attacks against journalists; (d) public condemnations of attacks against journalists; and (e) investigations and prosecutions of, and remedy for, attacks against journalists.
Such information should be addressed no later than 2 May 2014 to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva, CH-1211, Geneva 10, fax number +41 22 917 9014, c/o Sebastiaan Verelst. Responses or any queries may also be sent electronically to registry@ohchr.org, cc. sverelst@ohchr.org.

Resolutionadoptedby the General Assembly on18 December2013 – 68/163.
The safety of journalists and the issue of impunity

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles ofthe Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights1 and recalling relevant international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights2 and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, 3 as well as the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 19494 and the AdditionalProtocols thereto,5

Recalling the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, endorsed by the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination on 12 April 2012, in which United Nations agencies, funds and programmes were invited to work with Member States towards a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers in both conflict and non-conflict situations, with a view to strengthening peace, democracy and development worldwide,

Recalling also Human Rights Council resolutions 20/8 of 5 July 2012 on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet,6 21/12 of 27 September 2012 on the safety of journalists,7and 24/15 of 27 September 2013 on the World Programme for Human Rights Education8 and Council decision 24/116 of 26 September 2013 on a panel discussion on the safety of journalists,9 as well as Security Councilresolution 1738 (2006) of23 December 2006,

Taking note of the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression10 and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, 11 submitted to the Human Rights Councilat its twentieth session,

Commending the role and the activities of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization with regard to the safety of journalists and the issue ofimpunity,

Taking note with appreciation of the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on good practices concerning the safety of journalists,12 submitted to the Human Rights Councilat its twenty-fourth session,

Noting with appreciation the international conference on the safety of journalists, held in Warsaw on 23 and 24 April 2013, and its specific recommendations,13

Acknowledging that journalism is continuously evolving to include inputs from media institutions, private individuals and a range of organizations that seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, online as well as offline, in the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression, in accordance with article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, thereby contributing to shape public debate,

Recognizing the relevance of freedom of expression and of free media in building inclusive     knowledge societies and democracies and in fostering interculturaldialogue, peace and good governance,

Recognizing also that the work of journalists often puts them at specific risk of intimidation, harassment and violence,

Taking note of the good practices of different countries aimed at the protection of journalists, as well as, inter alia, those designed for the protection of human rights defenders that can, where applicable, be relevant to the protection of journalists,

Recognizing that the number of people whose lives are influenced by the way information is presented is significant and that journalism influences public opinion,

Bearing in mind that impunity for attacks against journalists constitutes one of the main challenges to strengthening the protection ofjournalists,

Recalling in this regard that journalists, media professionals and associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians and shall be respected and protected as such, provided that they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians,

Expressing concern at the threat to the safety of journalists posed by non-State actors, including terrorist groups and criminalorganizations,

Acknowledging the specific risks faced by women journalists in the exercise of their work, and underlining, in this context, the importance of taking a gender-sensitive approach when considering measures to address the safety ofjournalists,

1.    Takes note with appreciation of the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety ofJournalists and the Issue ofImpunity;

2.    Condemns unequivocally all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers, such as torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, as well as intimidation and harassment in both conflict and non-conflict situations;

3.    Decides to proclaim 2 November as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists;

4.    Requests the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, in consultation with relevant entities of the United Nations system, and mindful of the provisions of the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution 1980/67 of 25 July 1980, to facilitate the implementation of the InternationalDay in collaboration with Governments and relevant stakeholders;

5.    Urges Member States to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, to ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy and effective investigations into all alleged violence against journalists and media workers falling within their jurisdiction and to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies;

6.    Calls upon States to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference, including by means of: (a) legislative measures; (b) awareness-raising in the judiciary and among law enforcement officers and military personnel, as well as among journalists and in civil society, regarding international human rights and humanitarian law obligations and commitments relating to the safety of journalists; (c) the monitoring and reporting of attacks against journalists; (d) publicly condemning attacks; and (e) dedicating the resources necessary to investigate and prosecute such attacks;

7.    Invites the relevant agencies, organizations, funds and programmes of the United Nations system to consider identifying focal points for the exchange of information about the implementation of the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, in cooperation with Member States and under the overallcoordination of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization;

8.    Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

70th plenary meeting 18 December 2013

Foot notes:

1 Resolution217 A (III).
2 See resolution2200 A (XXI), annex. 3 Resolution61/177, annex.
4 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, Nos. 970-973. 5 Ibid., vol. 1125, Nos. 17512 and 17513.
6 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 53 and corrigendum(A/67/53 and Corr.1), chap. IV, sect. A.
7 Ibid., Supplement No. 53A (A/67/53/Add.1), chap. III.
8 Ibid., Sixty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 53A (A/68/53/Add.1), chap. III. 13-44923 (E)
*1344923*    Please recycle
9 Ibid., chap. IV.
10 A/HRC/20/17.
11 A/HRC/20/22 and Corr.1.
12 A/HRC/24/23.
13 See S/2013/422, annex.

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