Explanation of Position on A/C.3/72/L.35/Rev.1 on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity

Mordica Simpson
ECOSOC Advisor
United States
New York City
November 20, 2017

AS DELIVERED

The United States is pleased to co-sponsor this resolution on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity. We commend journalists around the world for the important role they play, and for their commitment to the free exchange of ideas.

The United States values freedom of expression, including for the press, as a key component of democratic governance. Democratic societies are not infallible, but they are accountable, and the exchange of ideas is the foundation for accountable governance. In the United States and in many places around the world, the press fosters active debate, provides investigative reporting, and serves as a forum to express different points of view, particularly on behalf of those who are marginalized in society. We are pleased to see this resolution recognize the crucial role of journalists and media workers in the contexts of elections.

We also commend those in the press who courageously do their work at great risk. The press is often a target of retaliation by those who feel threatened by freedom of expression and transparency in democratic processes. Journalists are often the first to uncover corruption, to report from the front lines of conflict zones, and to highlight missteps by governments. This work places many journalists in danger, and it is important for governments and citizens worldwide to speak out for their protection and for their vital role in open societies.

We understand the resolution’s references to privacy, including its appropriate safeguards, in light of Article 17 of the ICCPR.

With regard to this resolution’s references to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we have addressed our concerns in a separate U.S. statement.

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