Media Freedom Coalition Launched To Address Attacks On Journalists

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland have announced the launch of the new media freedom coalition following the global conference for media freedom last week.

The coalition will be formed by Governments who sign up to a pledge that commits them to speak out and take action together when media freedom is at risk, and to champion the cause around the world.

A number of governments signed up to the pledge and joined the coalition while at the conference, while others have indicated their interest to do so once Cabinet approval has been completed, the Foreign Office said in a press release.

The list of participating governments is expected to be announced in September at the UN General Assembly.

Mr Hunt said: “2018 was the deadliest year for journalists. The fact that over 100 countries were represented at the global conference for media freedom, with over 1500 delegates from all regions of the world, demonstrates the global resonance of this issue.

“I am delighted that Governments are committing to firm action and to working together as an international community to create a safer environment for journalism across the globe. By shining a light on attacks against journalists, the new coalition will aim to change political calculations and increase the costs to those who abuse media freedom.”

The conference is set to become an annual event, gathering the world’s governments, civil society and media to take stock of the state of media freedom around the world, with Canada hosting the next conference in 2020.

The Government has also decided to establish an autonomous UK human rights sanctions regime once it leaves the European Union. The sanctions could be used against individuals and governments that abuse human rights, including acts against the media.