The General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Anthony Bellanger, yesterday met with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, (HCHR) in Geneva to present the IFJ’s work and its role in defending human rights and freedom of expression around the world.
With its 170 affiliates the IFJ is committed to support the work of the Office of the HCHR in promoting human rights and freedom of expression and combating violent extremism and hate speech.
Anthony Bellanger briefed the High Commissioner on the worsening crises facing journalists including violence, imprisonment and impunity for the killers of journalists.
Monir Zaarour, IFJ coordinator in the Middle East and the Arab World, presented the Declaration on Media Freedom in the Arab World, and the campaign for a special regional mechanism to support media freedom across the region.
The declaration was first launched in May by journalists unions, human rights commissions and civil society organisations from across the region and has since been signed by the Presidents of Palestine and Tunisia and this week by the government of Jordan.
"We thank the High Commissioner for his solidarity with the global community of journalists and his support for their right for secure working conditions," said Anthony Bellanger. "We also appreciate his support for the establishment of a regional mechanism for media freedom and the Declaration on Media Freedom in the Arab World. This will undoubtedly strengthen the work of tens of thousands of journalists across the region."
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The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries