Denmark to strengthen UNESCO’s work on safety of journalists in Africa and the Arab Region

The Ambassador of Denmark to UNESCO, Carsten Staur met with UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, to discuss Denmark’s collaboration with UNESCO and strengthening the organization’s work in the field of safety of journalists, in particular in Africa and the Arab Region.

UNESCO and Denmark signed a Funds-In-Trust Agreement on December 2020 of 2 million Danish Krone (approximately 320.000 USD), to implement the two-year project “Enhancing the Safety of Journalists in Africa and the Arab Region”.

The project aims to contribute to peace, sustainable development and democracy in the two regions by promoting actions to protect journalists, in line with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (UN Plan). The project activities will also focus on the UN Plan’s “Three Ps”: the prevention, protection, and prosecution of crimes and attacks against journalists.

Ambassador Staur expressed Denmark’s interest in increasing its collaboration with UNESCO based on strong projects with a human rights approach, including those related to freedom of expression, and also in creating synergies with other parts of the UN system particularly through the Universal Periodical Review exercise (UPR). The Ambassador and Director-General also discussed how UNESCO could enhance its work in the area of promoting and protecting the freedom of expression of scientists and artists, issues that, according to the Ambassador, should also be better reflected in the UPRs.

Denmark’s contribution will complement the actions funded by UNESCO’s Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists, a major UNESCO’s programme funding the organization’s work to protect journalists worldwide. Through MDP, UNESCO supports activities to promote the adoption and application of relevant policies and normative frameworks to strengthen the environment for freedom of expression and press freedom, and to enhance the safety of journalists, as well as to foster sustainable and independent media institutions. MDP is open to contributors.


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