UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity

The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity is the result of a process that began in 2010 upon request of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). It was endorsed by the UN Chief Executives Board on 12 April 2012, and it has been welcomed in resolutions of the the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, and UNESCO.

The UN Plan of Action aims to create a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers, both in conflict and non-conflict situations, with a view to strengthening peace, democracy and development worldwide. The Plan includes measures such as the establishment of an inter-agency mechanism to strengthen the contribution of each UN actor and enhance UN-wide coherence; cooperation with States to develop legislation and other mechanisms for safeguarding the freedom of expression and information as well as the safety of journalists; and the establishment of partnerships, awareness-raising and fostering initiatives.

There was a review of the implementation of the UN Plan in Strasbourg in November 2014. More recently, on 29 June 2017, OHCHR and UNESCO organised the Multi-stakeholder Consultation to review ways of strengthening the UN Plan, which brought together approximately 250 representatives of UN agencies, Member States, regional intergovernmental organizations, civil society, media, internet intermediaries and academia.

Prior to the Consultation, a report was prepared on the basis of responses to a UNESCO questionnaire that were received by stakeholders in the area of the safety of journalists that examines the roles of all stakeholders, their key achievements and challenges, and suggestions for ways forward. A draft outcome document that contained recommendations for strengthening the UN Plan was also provided in advance of the Consultation and comments on those recommendations were incorporated into a second version that was sent to all participants following the Consultation for further feedback.

The final Outcome Document contains options for all actors engaged in the area of the safety of journalists in order to assist them to strengthen their contribution to the implementation of the UN Plan of Action, to secure the safety of journalists and end impunity for the human rights violations committed against them. See the Outcome Document, and the report.