The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has appointed Frank La Rue as its new Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information.
This development was announced by UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova. Mr La Rue, a trained lawyer, journalist and renowned human rights expert, worked as UN Special Rapporteur for the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression from 2008 to 2014. His appointment is to take effect from mid-March 2016.
During his tenure as Special Rapporteur, he made notable achievements which include the 10 landmark reports he wrote and presented to the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly on the State of Freedom of Expression. The reports reflected on issues such as the protection of journalists, freedom of expression exercised through the internet, and the impact of state surveillance on privacy and freedom of expression.
His recent positions include: President, Board of Directors of DEMOS, the Central American Institute for the Study of Social Democracy and Director for Europe of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation.
Mr La Rue has previously participated in a number of UNESCO events, including annual celebrations of World Press Freedom Day and the commemoration of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
La Rue expressed delight regarding his appointment saying, “UNESCO is a crucial institution for the protection of freedom of expression, development of the media, and promotion of access to new technologies of communication. I hope to contribute to these goals and maintain a human rights focus in all our work.”