Vienna, 4 July 2012 Press release

Media at the mercy of power and politics

State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner demands worldwide efforts to strengthen freedom of the press

Vienna, 4 July 2012 – “Free media are essential to ensure that human rights are respected and democracy is promoted. To achieve this, we need to increase our protection of journalists”, said State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner at today’s event “Dialog Entwicklung” hosted by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) on the topic of freedom of the media. According to the International Press Institute, 72 journalists have already been murdered in 2012. In 2011 alone, 102 journalists were killed and over the last decade, 500 journalists were assassinated worldwide.

No less than 90 percent of the reported assaults on media representatives remain unsolved. 

“Austria is committed on a multilateral level to improve the protection of journalists. We are also using our membership in the UN Human Rights Council that ends in 2014 to pass a new resolution aimed at providing safer framework conditions for journalists. The emphasis lies on putting an end to impunity for perpetrators and on the prevention of future transgressions”, the State Secretary said. “UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has expressly welcomed the Austrian initiative and suggested sharing it with the Security Council”, Waldner added.  

Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213