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    Posted May 11, 2014 by
    AlfredZayas
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    Geneva, Switzerland

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    2014 World Press Freedom Day: Free media reinforces the post-2015 goals

     
    On the occasion of the 2014 World Press Freedom Day, UN experts* underscored the freedom of the press. They also addressed the lack in the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of expression and information, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association and public participation in some countries.

    Reiterating the Vienna Declaration and that all human rights are universal, indivisible, and interdependent, the experts underlined the fact that the rights to freedom of expression and information, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and public participation are essential for achieving the realization of all human rights for all, and related development goals. Decision-making, including that related to sustainable development, must be democratic, transparent and participatory.

    The UN experts expressed concern at the many attacks on journalists and human rights defenders, including members of civil society organisations, and those demanding good governance and governmental accountability.

    They also pointed to the fact that the full recognition ofthe rights to freedom of expression and information, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and public participation contributes to the full achievement of the millennium development goals.

    The experts recalled the need to work towards more inclusive political processes, genuine participation by all in all countries, ensuring freedom of the media to play its role, and guaranteeing the right of the public to have access to information. They also emphasized the importance of the environmental impact assessments .

    The experts highlighted the Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which recommended adoption of a governance goal, including the protection of access to information, free media and protection of civic space. They also noted the discussions in the GA Open Working Group and the recognition in Focus Area 19 of the need for rule of law and capable institutions. They also recalled earlier contributions of special procedures to the Post-2015 Development Agenda .

    The experts concluded by emphasizing the fact that media organisations should recognise the role they can play in framing issues of public importance and helping to satisfy the public’s need for information in development issues, draw attention to and expose any violations of human rights in this area and provide platforms for inclusive public debate about related issues, reflecting a diversity of views and perspectives.

    (*)The experts:
    Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
    Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.
    Catarina de Albuquerque, Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.
    John Knox, Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
    Anand Grover, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
    Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
    Alfred De Zayas, Independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.
    Gustavo Gallon, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti.
    Mads Andenas, Chair-Rapporteur Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
    Najat Maalla M'JID, Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
    Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
    Surya Subedi, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.
    Mirjana Najcevska, Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
    Virginia Dandan, Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity.
    Ms. Patricia Arias, Chair-Rapporteur Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.
    Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights.
    Magdalena Sepulveda, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
    François Crépeau ,Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.
    Tomas Ojea Quintana, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.
    Raquel Rolnik Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context.
    Marzuki Darusman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
    Pablo de Greiff, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.
    Gulnara Shahinian, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and its consequences.
    Sheila Keetharuth, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea.
    Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.
    Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
    Miklós Haraszti, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.
    Mashood Baderin, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan.
    Olivier de Schutter, Special Rapporteur on the right to food.
    Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.
    Chaloka Beyani, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons.

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