Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists (2 November 2015)

Today we remember the journalists and media workers who have been killed in the line of duty.

More than 700 journalists have been killed in the last decade — one every five days — simply for bringing news and information to the public.

Many perish in the conflicts they cover so fearlessly.  But all too many have been deliberately silenced for trying to report the truth.  Only 7 percent of such cases are resolved, and less than 1 crime out of 10 is even fully investigated.

Such impunity deepens fear among journalists and enables Governments to get away with censorship.

We must do more to combat this trend and make sure that journalists can report freely.  Journalists should not have to engage in self-censorship because they fear for their life.

The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly to highlight the urgent need to protect journalists, and to commemorate the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November, 2013.

I applaud UNESCO for spearheading the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity – a powerful mechanism joining the efforts of United Nations agencies, Governments, civil society, academia and the media.

Together, we must end the cycle of impunity and safeguard the right of journalists to speak truth to power.