UNESCO, OSF Team-up to Promote Freedom of Expression, Safety of Journalists

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Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO

In a bid to reinforce their commitment towards promoting freedom of expression and safety of journalists globally, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Foundation to Promote Open Society (OSF) have signed a two-year partnership agreement, which will last from 2018 to 2020.

Geared towards reinforcing UNESCO actions to promote freedom of expression, freedom of press, access to information and the end of impunity for crimes against journalists, the project will focus on raising awareness and facilitating vital dialogue to adopt policy reform on issues concerning freedom of expression and the safety of journalists worldwide.

The partnership agreement is consequent to the previous successful collaborations between UNESCO and OSF, which was aimed at strengthening freedom of expression, public access to information and safety of journalists globally with a focus on Africa.

This new partnership also expects to take great strides in the direction of promoting freedom of expression and realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically Sustainable Development Goal 16.10 that recognizes the need to ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms.

Furthermore, the partnership proposes to bolster the outreach and impact of World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated each year on 3 May, and International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’, which is marked on 2 November. It will enhance in particular cooperation and synergies between UN agencies, governments, civil society and the media.

The agreement will also reinforce the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.