Tuesday 16 July 2013

UN Security Council to debate journalists' safety

A Day Without News? , which campaigns for greater protection for journalists covering armed conflicts, says one of its key objectives has been achieved.

It reports: "Following our meetings with both the UK and US UNSC missions urging them, during their respective presidencies of the council, to adopt a motion to discuss the protection of journalists and debate the strengthening of resolution 1738, the UN Security Council will hold an open debate on the protection of journalists on July 17, 2013, which will feature briefings by representatives of the media.

"A Security Council Report states: 'This will be the first time the Council considers this issue in a separate meeting since the adoption of resolution 1738 on the protection of journalists on 23 December 2006. . . . A key issue for the Council is whether further steps can be taken to enhance implementation of resolution 1738 and improve protection of journalists on the ground. . . .

‘It appears that the idea of having a meeting on the protection of journalists initially came from the UK. For practical reasons it preferred not to schedule such a meeting during its own presidency in June and therefore proposed it for July instead.’

A Day Without News? adds: "Bravo and thank you to all of those who supported our campaign. We are proud to have played a part under the guidance of Sir Daniel Bethlehem and to help The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch in their continuing efforts.

A Day Without News? was first commemorated on February 22 of this year, the first anniversary of the deaths of journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik while covering the Syrian conflict.

It's aims are:
  • to draw sharper attention to the growing numbers of journalists who have been killed and injured in armed conflict, in some cases as a result of direct targeting by the belligerents;
  • to develop a public diplomacy, institutional and legal agenda to combat this more effectively; and
  • to investigate and collect evidence in support of prosecutable cases in this area.
The ultimate goal is for A Day Without News? to generate grassroots support within the community that will further the work of the Committee to Protect Journalists , Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, and other invaluable organisations who are dedicated to this issue.

A Day Without News? wants to  build public support through publicity; increasing pressure for change through diplomacy; and helping the identification, investigation and prosecution of war crimes committed against journalists.

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