Celebrating World Press Freedom in Baghdad, UNESCO and the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate (IJS) agreed to strengthen their cooperation to foster freedom of expression, develop the media sector and provide universal access to information and knowledge in Iraq.
To this effect, IJS President Moaiyad al-Lami and UNESCO Representative to Iraq Axel Plathe (pictured) signed an agreement on behalf of their organizations during an event that IJS and UNESCO organized this morning on the occasion of the Day at Iraqi Journalists Syndicate’s headquarters, in the presence of scores of journalists, human rights activists and members of the international community.
“The agreement that we signed today is a very solid basis to jointly foster the role of media for national reconciliation and increase the safety of journalists”, says Axel Plathe.
“Since 2003, approximately 400 journalists have lost their lives in Iraq, this number is the highest in the world,” stated IJS President Moaiyad al-Lami, urging the government and state institutions to investigate and find out who the perpetrators are.
He also underscored that press freedom can only be achieved through an independent media environment based on pluralism, one that they will continue to strive for to ensure the safety of journalists.
The agreement comes in light of the worsening security situation in Iraq which has drastically limited the media’s capacity to report safely and in a non-partisan manner.
As a first concrete action, the agreement foresees the implementation of the project “Enhancing Iraqi journalists’ capacities in conflict sensitive reporting”, that will ensure that the standards of reporting are up to par with internationally recognized standards.