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3 May 2012- World Press Freedom Day


Five years after the adoption by the Security Council of Resolution 1738 on the Protection of Journalists in armed conflicts, the issue unfortunately remains timely. Despite repeated calls by the Secretary General, as well as mandate holders and various stakeholders for the full implementation of Resolution 1738, journalists continue to be submitted to serious dangers in conflict situations, paying a high price for carrying out their job.

Stakes remain high. Attacking journalists and the press seriously threatens the freedom of expression, the freedom to inform and to be informed. The aim of the perpetrators is “to wage war on words and images”. This is not only a severe breach of international humanitarian law, but also an affront to universal human values. Repeated attacks against journalists, media professionals and their supporting staff, must face an unequivocal response from States and the international community.

France and Greece, main sponsors of Resolution 1738, consider necessary to launch a follow-up work on the implementation of this Resolution in order to address the recent resurgence of violence against information professionals. In this respect, it is necessary to explore the root causes of the phenomenon and to take stock of the current state of implementation of the Resolution, since its adoption in 2006. At the same time, we need to address the issue of impunity of the perpetrators and to explore ways to strengthen the implementation of the resolution. This reflection process aspires to contribute to the efforts by the international community to ensure the safety of journalists and to combat impunity, including the establishment of a joint action plan.

On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, on May 3rd, we seek to emphasize the true nature of the challenges that journalists and media workers face when operating in conflict zones, as well as to listen to their real life experiences and suggestions in view of increasing the level of their safety.

With the active cooperation of UNESCO, this high-level debate aims, on one hand, at raising awareness of the international public opinion, through dialogue among the various actors on the international scene, including States, academics, press and civil society, and at the same time exploring the legal and political means to guarantee the security of journalists in the field.

Learn more on the protection of journalists in armed conflict.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU