On 3 May 2016, the Declaration on Media Freedom in the Arab World (Declaration or Arab Declaration) was adopted at a groundbreaking event in Casablanca, Morocco, attended by over 100 delegates representing journalists’ unions, human rights campaigners and media groups from across the Arab World.
The Declaration is historic for a number of reasons. Firstly, it represents the first comprehensive statement on media freedom rights in the Arab World. Secondly, the values it promotes reflect the highest international standards of media freedom and the protection of journalists’ rights. Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, since its adoption, a process has been underway to obtain formal recognition of the Declaration by Arab States, with the result that a growing number of these States are endorsing it.
The Declaration, which includes a Preamble and 16 principles addressing different thematic issues relating to media freedom and the protection of journalists’ rights, is clear and self-evident. At the same time, declarations are, by definition, brief, focusing on setting out key principles and standards.
This Explanatory Memorandum elaborates on the principles in the Declaration, providing background on the underlying international and regional standards from which they are drawn. As such, it seeks to help interested stakeholders understand and interpret the text of the Declaration, to provide readers with the legal basis for the text, and to avoid any possibility of the Declaration being misunderstood in a way which might undermine or limit media freedom.
Please find attached bellow explanatory memorandum in Arab and English :