ARTICLE 19 welcomes the 2 May 2014 statement by 31 UN special rapporteurs, experts and working groups, titled "Free media reinforcing the post-2015 goals" released for World Press Freedom Day, 2015.
The statement sets out principles of international law relating to freedom of expression and information, freedom of association, peaceful assembly and public participation as they relate to development.
"ARTICLE 19 is doing substantial work to ensure that the rights to freedom of expression, information, association, assembly and participation are protected in the post-2015 goals, and this joint statement comes at crucial time for the discussions and diplomacy going on in the United Nations," said Thomas Hughes, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director.
"The number of UN experts that have signed the letter - probably the largest collective action ever on the right to freedom of expression - is welcome evidence of the importance that the human rights community places on including these rights in the goals, and we urge states to listen," Hughes added.
The statement notes that the rights are essential for achieving the realisation of human rights and related development goals and reminds countries that they are obliged to
- collect information on development and make it available
- allow all individuals and groups to organise and operate in a safe and enabling environment
- guarantee public participation in a meaningful way
- and to prevent discrimination and protect human rights defenders.
The statement represents the largest number of UN Experts to have ever raised these issues collectively and comes at a crucial time as the UN Open Working Group will next week debate a new Focus Area draft document which provides for less commitments on the right to information and on protection of freedom of expression, association, and assembly.
The full statement is available on ARTICLe 19's new website, set up to track the post-2015 goals.