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SKeyes Joins the International Coalition in Favor of a Special Representative for the Safety of Journalists
February 28, 2017

On February 27, 2017, the SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom joined a worldwide coalition of NGOs, media outlets, journalists and prominent public figures to support Reporters Without Borders (RSF) initiative for the creation of a Special Representative to the United Nations Secretary General for the safety of journalists. It is an urgent issue for all those who want to end violence against reporters and defend access to information around the world.

The coalition has issued the following appeal:

To all Permanent Representatives and Permanent Observers to the United Nations, New York 
 
Excellencies,
 
787 journalists and media personnel were killed while exercising their profession over the last 10 years. In the year 2015 alone, the numbers reflect 67 journalists killed worldwide.

Through them, the right to information of hundreds of millions of citizens has been sacrificed. The major problems around the world, from environmental issues to extremist violence, cannot be resolved without the work of journalists.
 
The under signatories are urging the United Nations and its Member States to appoint a Special Representative to the UN Secretary General for the safety of journalists..
 
Despite various resolutions adopted in the past decade, by both the Security Council and the General Assembly, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his last annual report on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity (published on August 6, 2015) didn’t hesitate to speak of a “failure to reduce the frequency and scale of targeted violence that journalists face and the near absolute impunity for such crimes.” These strong resolutions could be no more than empty words without a concrete mechanism to ensure the compliance of member states with their obligations.
 
In this regard, only a Special Representative to the UN Secretary General for the Safety of Journalists working closely with the UN Secretary General will significantly empower the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity and all efforts lead by UNESCO, have the political weight, the capacity to act quickly, and the legitimacy to coordinate with all UN bodies to implement change.
 
It is time for concrete action.
 
It is time for journalists to work in a safe environment and to put an end to impunity.

The list of organizations that have endorsed the appeal is available on this link.