Human Rights Commissioner Kofler in a joint Franco-German statement to mark World Press Freedom Day
To mark World Press Freedom Day, Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, said today (3 May) in a joint Franco-German Statement:
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, Germany and France reaffirm their joint, steady and determined commitment to freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the protection of journalists around the world – both online and offline.
It is essential for democratic debate to have media pluralism, the right to inform and be informed, and the freedom to express critical views; a crucial task which falls upon journalists, media workers as well as social media bloggers.
They are increasingly threatened – also in Europe. It is our duty to acknowledge the courage shown by these men and women, and to fight against those who would coerce, threaten or discredit their voices into silence. It is unacceptable for journalists to be targeted in this way, or to be assassinated in the line of duty and while practising their profession. It is our freedom they protect by doing their job. Defending those principles and protecting journalists as they perform their work is a priority.
Our two countries work towards this goal, and we shall keep promoting everyone’s right to freedom of opinion and freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. We are committed within the United Nations to protecting this fundamental right and fighting against the impunity of those who flout it.
This year, we actively supported the adoption of the resolution on the protection of journalists at the UN General Assembly with an emphasis on the situation of women journalists and increased monitoring by the Secretary-General of the United Nations
We call for the full implementation of resolutions 1738 and 2222 on the protection of journalists in armed conflict that were adopted by the Security Council on 23 December 2006 and on 27 May 2015.