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UN Secretary-General has ‘no plans’ for proposals on journalist safety

THE United Nations Secretary-General, Antonío Guterres has ‘no plans’ to effect proposals submitted by 72 media groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)to name a representative for the safety of journalists across the globe.

A United Nations spokesman said to Eye on Global Transparency that there are no such plans by the UN to announce such a position.

In 2018, Guterres named his senior adviser Ana-Maria Menéndez as his point person on the safety of journalists, an initiative media group officials applauded as a place to submit their concerns but noted it was not enough.

After the commemoration of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on November 2, the Eye on Global Transparency said it sent series of inquiries to the Office of the UN Secretary-General as regards rumours that he is not interested in setting up a representative.

Before the confirmation by the UN spokesman, there were speculations that the UN may reject the proposal by the media groups.

Deputy General Secretary of the International Federal of Journalist, Jeremy Dear, said there is clearly some strong political obstruction within the UN systems (member states).

He added that some countries have put pressure on other states not to host meetings or take part in events that have to do with it.

Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions said she made the recommendation to the UN to set up a representative on safety of journalists across the globe after she was assigned to investigate the killing of Washington Post Reporter, Jamal Kashoggi.

She suggested that it will serve as a road map to curb the extrajudicial killing of journalists in all countries of the world.

In 2018, Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of Reporters without Borders, said his organisation had made the call for such a representative within the UN in 2018.

He said the proposal was backed by more than 130 media outlets, NGOs and labour unions throughout the world but without effect.

Callamard in her reaction to the statement of the spokesman tweeted that impunity is not a fatality but a man-made curse that is politically made.

She said it is politically sustained and should be fought charging the UN and states to move beyond denunciation and establish actual effective tools to end impunity for killings of journalists.

 

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