Amal Clooney among recently confirmed speakers in World Press Freedom Conference

World Press Freedom Conference’s list of speakers features many prominent international journalists, media professionals and human rights experts. Amal Clooney is one of the speakers who will be taking part in the digital event, broadcast from the World Forum in The Hague, on 9 and 10 December.

Ms Clooney is a Lebanese-British lawyer, specialising in international law and human rights. She is the Deputy Chair of the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, an independent body that provides recommendations to governments to prevent abuses of media freedom. She has worked at the International Court of Justice, the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon and at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, all based in The Hague. Ms Clooney has been an outspoken champion of press freedom in multiple fora and has provided legal counsel on several high-profile cases in this area, including the case of Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, who will also be attending the conference. The World Press Freedom Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Key speakers

Another notable speaker is Hatice Cengiz, who was engaged to Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist murdered in October 2018. Since Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance and death, she has worked tirelessly to have the perpetrators of this crime brought to justice. Ms Cengiz will be speaking in a conversation with Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, who conducted an investigation into Mr Khashoggi’s death, presented at the UN Human Rights Council. Others key speakers at the event include Elisabeth Bumiller (The New York Times), Christiane Amanpour (CNN), Maria Ressa (Rappler), Jineth Bedoya Lima (El Tiempo), Nima Elbagir (CNN), Marietje Schaake (CyberPeace Institute) and Carole Cadwalladr (The Observer). See the list of confirmed speakers below.


The WPFC 2020 programme comprises over 20 sessions, each addressing a different aspect of press freedom. Topics include the safety of journalists, impunity for crimes against journalists, transparency of digital news media and diversity within journalism. Most of the sessions will be presented in a television talk show format. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and join in the discussions through a digital platform. Dutch television presenter and host Humberto Tan will preside over the official opening and closing sessions. The main guests of the opening session are the two co-hosts of this year’s WPFC, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, while the closing session will feature Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Anchor of the CNN.

Violence against women

Today, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November), UNESCO is launching preliminary results of a survey on online violence against women journalists. Over 73% of the women journalists participating in the survey say they have experienced online violence in the course of their work. More extensive findings will be announced and discussed at the World Press Freedom Conference, on 10 December, during a session involving prominent women journalists.

Click here to register for WPFC 2020.

Confirmed speakers

  • Christiane Amanpour (UK)
  • Carmen Aristegui (Mexico)
  • Lina Attalah (Egypt)
  • Elisabeth Bumiller (US)
  • Jineth Bedoya Lima (Colombia)
  • Hatice Cengiz (Turkey)
  • Aslı Erdoğan (Turkey)
  • Carole Cadwalladr (UK)
  • Matthew Caruana Galizia (Malta)
  • Deeyah Khan (Norway)
  • Joe Maalouf (Lebanon)
  • Maria Ressa (Philippines)
  • Marietje Schaake (Netherlands)
  • Nima Elbagir (Sudan)
  • Amal Clooney (Lebanon)
  • Agnes Callamard (France)
  • Agnes Binagwaho (Rwanda)
  • Soledad O’Brien (USA)