State Secretary Raščan at Ministerial Roundtable on safety of journalists and strengthening media freedom
State Secretary Stanislav Raščan took part in a virtual ministerial roundtable on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, which was held on the margins of the World Press Freedom Conference 2020 co-hosted by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and UNESCO. The meeting focused on the strengthening of support for countries to increase the safety of journalists and media workers, particularly in fighting impunity for crimes committed against them. At the close of the meeting, a ministerial commitment was adopted.
In his address, State Secretary Raščan underscored the importance of strengthening and maintaining media freedom, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. He drew attention to the pivotal role that journalists play in providing objective information on topical issues and the need to provide them with an adequate safe and enabling environment for their work. In this context, he brought to the fore the vulnerable position of female journalists, who are often threatened solely because of their gender. The State Secretary went on to highlight the importance of fighting impunity for crimes against journalists and media workers and made an appeal for the adoption of the necessary measures to hold the perpetrators accountable.
At the international level, the State Secretary stressed the vital role of the Universal Periodic Review established by the UN Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each state to engage in an interactive dialogue, where it can address important topics through enquiries and reports. To provide journalists with effective protection, it is imperative to ensure better exchange of good practices and implementation of the existing international standards. State Secretary Raščan also emphasised the major role of international organisations in ensuring that journalists can perform their work safely.