Global Media Defense Fund Launched to Protect Journalists
The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has welcomed the establishment of a new Global Media Defense Fund at the initiative of the United Kingdom and Canada and their respective pledges of £3 million (US$3,8 M) over five years and of 1 million Canadian Dollars (US$ 765,000) to the Fund.
The purpose of the Global Media Fund is to support the UN Plan on the Safety of Journalists, whose implementation is led by UNESCO, which will also administer the Fund.
“I wholeheartedly welcome the UK and Canada’s support for our work in an area that is crucial for the free flow of information and peace, the objectives that UNESCO was created to promote,” said the Director-General.
This statement came in response to the launch of the new Fund led by the UK Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jeremy Hunt and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, as they co-hosted the Global Conference for Media Freedom (10-11 July).
As head of the United Nations’ lead agency for freedom of expression, the Director General of UNESCO represented the UN at the conference. More than 50 communication and foreign affairs ministers attended the conference in London alongside over 1,000 media professionals and representatives of specialized NGOs.
This newly created Trust Fund will complement and synergize with other extra-budgetary funding modalities supporting UNESCO work for the promotion of the safety of journalists: the Multi-donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists (with substantial contributions from Sweden and Norway), the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), as well as fund in trust projects.
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