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The UNESCO World Press Freedom Day 2017 Conference held in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta has ended.
Jakarta Declaration prepared on basis of feedbacks by participants has been read out by Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO.
Calling on to the UNESCO, its members, civil society and journalists, the declaration included 26 articles for freedom of press and expression.
Some highlights from the declaration are as follows:
Recommendations for UNESCO Member States
The declaration has recommended the Member States to
* Recognise, in terms of their commitments to international human rights standards, the relevance of a free, independent and pluralistic media in the advancement of the sustainable development goal of peaceful, just and inclusive societies;
* Create an enabling legal, political and institutional environment where fundamental human rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom of conscience, are promoted and protected;
* Recognise the importance of a decent work agenda, as set out in SDG 8, in creating an environment in which journalists are able to operate free from corruption, poverty and fear, and to develop professional solidarity and their social and professional rights;
* Consider making it a criminal offence wilfully to interference with the legitimate exercise of media freedom;
* Support the development of quality journalism, investigative journalism and a free media as public goods which are able to deliver the necessary information and create spaces for healthy public debate, for good governance and for public participation in decision-making;
* Enhance the capacity and accountability of police, prosecutors and judges to fulfil the state's duty to ensure the effective and independent investigation, prosecution and punishment of crimes committed against journalists in the course of their work;
* Implement the UN Plan and ensure that national efforts in this regard include the protection of journalists, the prevention of violence against the media and the prosecution of those who perpetrate these crimes;
* Recognise the legitimacy of the use of encryption and anonymisation technologies; 35. Promote media pluralism, including by preventing excessive concentration of media ownership, ensuring the diversity of public debate and inclusiveness in the media landscape, and promoting fair representation of marginalised groups;
* Align with the Rabat Plan when considering any regulatory measures to deal with hate speech, especially in relation to national, racial and religious issues
* Enhance media and information literacy initiatives in order to enhance access to information and encourage critical thinking;
* Ratify and implement the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, thus committing to the creation, distribution and enjoyment of diverse cultural expressions;
* Encourage an inclusive internet and promote universal access to the internet, based on the four key principles of Internet Universality: Human Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multistakeholder participation;
* Refrain from internet shutdowns and other measures that unduly limit freedom of expression and access to information online, such as disproportionate filtering or blocking techniques;
* Bring their laws, regulations and policies into line with international standards on freedom of expression and promote awareness of and respect for those standards among public officials
* Fully implement resolutions and decisions on the safety of journalists and respect for freedom of expression adopted by the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, the Security Council and UNESCO, and by regional human rights organisations;
* Take cognisance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and of the opportunities it provides for the future of human development and take steps to enable the free flow of government information to the public by engaging with interested stakeholders to develop, adopt and implement an access to information law,
Call on UNESCO
The declaration has recommended UNESCO to
* Promote the further strengthening of an international legal, institutional and social framework that addresses violence against journalists and impunity for such crimes, and promote the full implementation of existing provisions and structures that address these issues;
* Support the creation of national and regional mechanisms promoting the safety of journalists and tackling impunity;
* Promote the uptake of the UN Plan by local stakeholders and work towards its reinforcement, building upon the conclusions of the Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Strengthening the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity that will take place on 29 June 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland ("Multi-Stakeholder Consultation");
* Strengthen its collaboration with academic and other similar institutions to enhance research in and understanding of freedom of expression and media development issues, including by making use of the Journalism Safety Research Network to reach a wider range of relevant institutions and researchers;
* Support the capacity of the media to practise professional journalism which can promote public education, dialogue and mutual understanding;
* Promote public discussion to find alternatives to counter the proliferation of falsified content and the phenomenon of "social media bubbles";
* Further reinforce its Media and Information Literacy programme initiatives;
* Promote skills and techniques to enable journalists to ensure the confidentiality of their work, including through encryption;
* Strengthen inclusiveness and gender-equality efforts in the media through the dissemination and promotion of the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media;
* Promote artistic freedom as a pillar of freedom of expression and as a cornerstone of participatory democracy, and support artistic creation and ensure access to cultural life for all members of society;
* Continue to highlight the importance of freedom of expression and public access to information;
* Strengthen its capacities to monitor indicators on the safety of journalists and access to information in the context of the SDGs;
* Promote the adoption of internet-related policies that are guided by the principles of Internet Universality for the achievement of an inclusive Knowledge Society for all.
Click to read the full declaration.
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