UNSC approves resolution to protect journalists covering armed conflict

The U.N. Security Council Wednesday (27 May) unanimously approved a resolution designed to protect journalists covering armed conflict.

The resolution also urges the immediate and unconditional release of media professionals kidnapped or taken hostage during conflicts. It was drafted by Lithuania and co-sponsored by 58 countries. It was designed to build on a measure passed in 2006.

More than 700 journalists have been killed over the past 10 years, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

RSF Director–General Christophe Deloire said some 700 journalists have been killed in the past decade.

He said, “How many crimes against journalists needs to be committed in order for UN resolutions to be applied? Reporters without borders ask you to implement a mechanism of effective control. We support establishment of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General for protection of journalists.”

Mariane Pearl, the widow of Daniel Pearl,, a reporter who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002, said, “”Let us not forget that beyond the news there are individual lives. Beyond the politics there is a human society, and beyond our differences is our common ground. And that common ground is what terrorists are seeking to destroy. They want, they need, to end dialogue, understanding and bonding between people.”

Ambassador Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño of Venezuela, said, “The Bolivarian republic of Venezuela condemns in a firm manner, violent acts against journalists covering armed conflicts and calls for strict observance of international human rights.”

Ambassador Samantha Power of the United States, said, “What the Assad regime, ISIL, and other state and non-state actors target journalists have in common is that they do not want people to see them for what they really are; whether that is a regime willing to torture, bomb, gas and starve its people in order to hold on to power, or a group masquerading as religious that routinely desecrates the basic dignity of human beings.”