UN Chief Kofi Annan Backs IFJ Efforts to Protect Journalists in War Zones

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Speaks at Launch of RUNIC in Brussels

The United Nations Secretary General has told the IFJ that the UN will follow up the issues being raised over the killings of journalists in Iraq and elsewhere during his visit to Brussels on 30 January.

Speaking at the opening of the UN regional information centre (RUNIC) in Brussels, Kofi Annan told IFJ General Secretary Aidan White that the UN was concerned over safety issues and the organisation was ready to support efforts by the IFJ and others to strengthen protection for journalists in conflict zones.

The International Press Centre in Brussels, which is now home to the UN European information hub and the IFJ, is also the headquarters of the International News Safety Institute (INSI), the global safety network established by major media groups and journalists’ unions last year.

The IFJ has called for more international legal protection of journalists after killings during the Iraq war and its aftermath in which 20 journalists and media staff have been killed and two are missing, now presumed dead. The issue will also be on the agenda of the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day events in Belgrade on 3 May.

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries