This statement was originally posted on IFEX on 12th/September/2016.
Reporters Without Borders is leading the global #ProtectJournalists campaign, to which over 100 media and human rights organisations have already pledged their support. As UN member states meet for the opening of the 71st session of the General Assembly on 16 September, help make the creation of a protector of journalists a top priority.
Over the past decade, at least 787 journalists have been killed for conducting their work of informing the public, and with them, the right to know of millions of citizens. Join the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) global campaign for a Protector of Journalists by signing their petition and tweeting your support ahead of the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly!
Despite a number of existing international commitments and mechanisms aimed at ensuring the protection of journalists and ending impunity for attacks, journalists around the world continue to be targeted and governments continue to falter in their obligation to prevent and punish.
That’s why RSF wants to send the message to the UN Secretary-General and all heads of UN member states that only a Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Safety of Journalists would have the political weight, the capacity to act quickly, and the legitimacy to save journalists lives.
Help make this message loud and clear by signing the RSF petition to be delivered to Ban Ki-moon ahead of the General Assembly meeting. In addition, you can tweet your support to the heads of UN member states and key UN officials throughout the opening session using the #ProtectJournalists hashtag. Here are some sample tweets for inspiration:
General: “We support the creation of a Special Representative for the safety of journalists at the UN #Protectjournalists” http://bit.ly/2c5VQW6
Tweets to officials: “@ [UN official] We ask you to appoint a Special Representative for the safety of journalists #Protectjournalists http://bit.ly/2c5VQW6”
“@ [Foreign Affairs Minister/appropriate government official] We ask you to support the creation of a Special Representative for the safety of journalists #Protectjournalists http://bit.ly/2c5VQW6”
“@ [UNSG candidate] We ask you to support the creation of a Special Representative for the safety of journalists #Protectjournalists http://bit.ly/2c5VQW6”
Want to do more?
Write a letter to your UN Ambassador to ask your country to support the mandate for a special representative. Sample letter here.
Write an op-ed for your national newspaper to express your support.
Contact RSF’s Advocacy and Communications Officer Margaux Ewen for more information about the campaign and other ways you can get involved.