Media Freedom Coalition statement on anniversary of inaugural Global Conference for Media Freedom

The Media Freedom Coalition has issued a statement on the two year anniversary ofthe inaugural Global Conference for Media Freedom.

Two years ago, the United Kingdom and Canada hosted the first Global Conference for Media Freedom in London, United Kingdom, to respond with a united front to ongoing challenges faced by journalists and media workers throughout the world. The event marked the beginning of the Media Freedom Coalition, a significant international effort by governments to protect and promote media freedom. The first members of the coalition signed the Global Pledge on Media Freedom, a written commitment to promote media freedom domestically and work together internationally.

On the second anniversary of the Global Conference for Media Freedom, the undersigned members of the Media Freedom Coalition today reiterate their commitment to expand efforts to defend media freedom worldwide. We acknowledge the impact of the pandemic on media freedom, in particular that this crisis has been used to put in place undue restrictions on free and independent media. Co-hosted by Canada and Botswana, we reaffirmed our commitment to protecting media freedom, including in the context of COVID-19, during the second Global Conference for Media Freedom on November 16, 2020.

We condemn intimidation, harassment and violence against journalists. We commend thecrucial role played by journalists and media workers and pay tribute to those who havelost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

We welcome the contribution of the independent High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom and appreciate its ongoing work to advise governments on preventing and reversing repression of media freedom. We recognize the work of the Global Media Defence Fund, administered by UNESCO, in enhancing journalists’ legal protection and improving media freedom through supporting investigative journalism and strategic litigation.

Today, we recall and reaffirm the commitments we made in the Global Pledge on Media Freedom: to increase coordination locally through our diplomatic missions around the world, to defend media freedom and to increase support to and engagement with journalists and independent media under threat. Our countries are committed to working together to protect media freedom.

Signed:

Afghanistan
Germany
North Macedonia
Australia
Ghana
Portugal
Austria
Greece
Republic of Korea
Belize
Honduras
Serbia
Botswana
Iceland
Seychelles
Bulgaria
Italy
Slovakia
Canada
Japan
Slovenia
Chile
Kosovo
Spain
Costa Rica
Latvia
Sudan
Croatia
Lebanon
Switzerland
Cyprus
Lithuania
Ukraine
Czechia
Luxembourg
the United Kingdom
Denmark
Maldives
Uruguay
Estonia
Montenegro
the United States
Finland
the Netherlands
France
New Zealand

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