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UN Calls for Journalists' Safety

Pakistan -- Journalists protesting in Quetta against killing of Pashtun journalist Mukarram Khan Aatif by unknown militants on 17 January, 20Jan2012
The BBC College of Journalism and the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) recently brought together frontline journalists, media editors and media executives from around the world to discuss how media houses can engage with the UN to address the rising trend of violence against media workers and protect journalists' safety.

The meeting was called in response to the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, which was endorsed by the UN Chief Executives Board in April. The UN Plan of Action brings together the various UN mechanisms, national authorities, civil society and media professionals with the aim to create a free and safe environment for the media in both conflict and non-conflict situations, with a view to strengthening peace, democracy and development worldwide.

RFE/RL, the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Globo of Brazil, La Stampa of Italy, The Guardian, Dawn newspaper of Pakistan and more than 30 other news organisations attending the meeting agreed to sign a London Statement demanding strong UN action to stop the killing of journalists and media workers.

The London Statement will be formally presented at the UN Inter-Agency Meeting on the UN Plan of Action on November 22-23 in Vienna. The event is intended to produce concrete strategies to implement the UN Plan. It will be convened by UNESCO and co-hosted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Earlier this fall, the UN Human Rights Council recognized the dangers facing journalists, adopting for the first time a resolution in support of journalists' safety.