Islamabad: United Nations in Pakistan, Members of the Parliament, Human Rights Commission, Media workers, Journalists and Press Clubs together signed “Declaration on Safety of Journalists” in Islamabad today, to demand collective and coordinated action from all stakeholders to stop the killing and harassment of journalists and end impunity.
The declaration was adopted and signed as an outcome of National Consultative Meeting organized, to provide Pakistan specific inputs to United Nations implementation strategy of the Action Plan on the Safety of Journalist and the Issue of Impunity— an initiative of which United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is convening agency in collaboration with other United Nations agencies, including United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UNODC and UNWOMEN.
The declaration was signed on 5th November ahead of the United Nations 2nd Inter-Agency meeting, which will be held on November 22- 23 in Vienna, Austria with year. Dr. Kozue Kay Nagata, Director, UNESCO Islamabad in her opening remarks highlighted the importance of the Declaration on Safety of Journalist by saying, “The safety of journalists and the struggle against impunity for their killers are essential to preserve the fundamental right to freedom of expression, guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Freedom of expression is an individual right, for which no one should be killed, but it is also a collective right, which empowers populations through facilitating dialogue, participation and democracy.”
Mr. Timo Pakkala, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan also attended the meeting. He emphasized on the strategic importance of adoption of Un system wide Plan of Action and its strategies noting the alarming numbers of journalist killings in Pakistan. According to Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ), Pakistan is ranked 3rd world’s deadliest nation for the
press in 2012 after Syria and Somalia.
UNESCO Press Release.
UNESCO’s Islamabad Decleration on Safety of Journalists can be read here.