Leaders and representatives of journalists’ associations and trade unions across the Asia-Pacific region will work together more closely within the new International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Asia-Pacific, launched in Kuala Lumpur at the weekend.
The IFJ affiliates, gathered for a regional meeting on February 2-3, pledged to work together in a formal group to fight for the rights of journalists and to improve press freedom across the Asia-Pacific region. The IFJ Asia-Pacific is the representative voice of journalists in the region, and comprises national journalists’ unions and associations affiliated to the IFJ in Asia-Pacific.
The IFJ Asia-Pacific affirmed its commitment to the key goals of:
• Advancing journalists’ industrial and professional rights.
• Promoting press freedom and an independent media.
• Enhancing gender equity.
• Protecting journalists’ safety.
• Building strong and independent journalists’ unions.
Delegates agreed to explore all opportunities to build subregional alliances of affiliates and other relevant organisations, such as the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN).
They also resolved to consider how best to coordinate work with other key regional organisations including the International Trade Union Confederation Asia-Pacific (ITUC AP) and Union Network International’s UNI-MEI, UNI-Graphical and UNI APRO. Consultations will continue with UNI-MEI and UNI-Graphical over common organisation.
The IFJ Asia-Pacific will coordinate activities with other media-related organisations including the International News Safety Institute (INSI). The group urged all IFJ affiliates to consider affiliating with INSI.
“Our work will be guided by affiliates in the region, by regional and subregional meetings, and by a Steering Committee representative of the subregional groups. The IFJ Asia-Pacific office will continue to coordinate the work of journalists’ organisations in the Asia-Pacific region and the Asia-Pacific Director will act as Secretary of IFJ Asia-Pacific,” the group said in a statement. The inaugural members of the Steering Committee will be Norila Daud (National Union of Journalists, Malaysia), Sunanda Deshapriya (Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association), Christopher Warren (Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Australia) Jun Yamakoshi (Nipporo, Japan) and Michael Yu (Association of Taiwan Journalists), with Jacqueline Park as Secretary.
IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said, “As a unified group, Asia-Pacific’s leading journalists’ organisations will be a powerful force for defending journalists’ rights and press freedom both within and across all countries of the region. The formalisation of links between national and regional unions provides a cohesive front for regional advocacy and interaction.”
Activities of the IFJ Asia-Pacific will be organised under a four-part framework covering rights at work, human rights, journalists under pressure, and solidarity. These activities will include training workshops, campaigns and advocacy, trade union building and regional networking.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries