2021 was marked by the devastating assault on Afghan journalists and particularly on women, following the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban. We are especially proud of the unions and associations of journalists that dedicated immense time and effort to helping our Afghan colleagues. Although much remains to be done to provide asylum and security to our brothers and sisters, the solidarity from our affiliates across the world has been remarkable and we could never have achieved what we did without them.
Our fight against impunity has brought some successful victories this year. Key among them are recognition by national tribunals of the role governments in some countries, including Colombia, have played in attacking journalists; the jailing of journalists' killers in Nepal and our collaboration with human rights lawyers to submit a legal case to the International Criminal Court on the systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists by the Israeli government.
We are proud of our 2021 publications highlighting the state of press freedom across the world, including our yearly review of the killings and imprisonments of journalists, a new fully documented report on China's interference in world media narratives and a report on the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on news reporting in South Asia. Important progress has also been made with a number of high level agreements reached by our affiliates including the signing of the first collective agreement in Tunisia, and a rise of agreements covering online media.
In pursuit of our fight for gender equality we launched a world survey on equal pay and raised awareness on discrimination against women journalists in world sporting events. We also continued to document and denounce abuses of all kinds against our female colleagues.
As press freedom watchdogs, we continued our work monitoring and denouncing press freedom violations across the world. In Europe for instance, together with the EFJ, we submitted 74 alerts to the Council of Europe’s platform for the safety of journalists. We provided special support to the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, whose extradition to the US would be a devastating blow to freedom of expression and democracy. We have also been cooperating with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to combat mass surveillance and the use of software such as Pegasus, which pose a devastating threat to press freedom.
We have focused heavily on ethical journalism and the need to report fairly on climate change, migration and women, through our workshops and training courses. We have also continued strengthening journalists' security skills and reinforcing unions’ organising strategies from the Balkans to Latin America.
Finally, we welcome a new rise in International Press Card holders. We are proud that the IFJ family continues to grow and that our values continue to be widely shared.
2022 will be the year of our World Congress in Oman, our first congress to take place in the Middle East. It will be another year of challenges, and we look forward to working with you to address them.