CPJ joins call for UN to appoint special representative for safety of journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists is one of 35 press freedom groups calling on the U.N. General Assembly to appoint a Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General for the Safety of Journalists as soon as possible. A joint letter from the groups proposes that the representative could work closely with the secretary-general to coordinate with U.N. bodies and member states to implement the U.N. Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

The U.N., through its plan of action and a flurry of resolutions since 2012, has recognized that journalists are at risk from killing, imprisonment, and impunity, but a chasm between rhetoric and action remains. The killers of journalists for instance, go free nine times out of 10, a statistic that has scarcely budged since 2012, CPJ research shows.

The letter highlights how a special representative would bring added attention to the risks faced by journalists and, by working closely with the secretary-general, would have the political weight and legitimacy to take concrete action to protect journalists and to hold U.N. agencies accountable for integrating the action plan into their work.

A copy of the letter can be viewed here.