Vienna/Geneva, 18 September 2013 Press release

Spindelegger: "We need to oppose the growing pressure on independent journalists"

Austria takes a stand for the protection of journalists in the UN Human Rights Council

Vienna/Geneva, 18 September 2013 – "The pressure on independent journalists and freedom of the media is growing worldwide. Austria is therefore taking steps in the UN Human Rights Council to protect journalists from violence, intimidation or obstruction at work", Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger explained. During the current 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Austria on behalf of 72 states from all corners of the world made a declaration on the protection of journalists. The General Assembly of the United Nations appointed Austria a member of the Human Rights Council on 20 May 2011.

"In 2012 alone, more than 100 journalists died while doing their job. Persecution by the state, armed conflict, organised crime – they all claim a high death toll, and we have to vigorously resist that", Spindelegger continued. Austria will continue its initiative on the protection of journalists in the UN Human Rights Council.

"Another focal area of our work in the field of human rights is the protection of the right to privacy in the digital age. We have made a declaration in this respect in the Human Rights Council together with Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway and Hungary. The international community of states must look for ways to efficiently protect the right to privacy, not least in times when technologies are changing so rapidly", the Vice-Chancellor said. 

"Austria will also continue to fight for protection of people with disabilities." Austria organised a panel discussion on "Development for All" together with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and the "Licht für die Welt" organisation in Geneva. The aim of the event was to have the protection of the rights of people with disabilities included in the development goals of the United Nations.

Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: +43 (0) 50 1150-3320
Fax: +43 (0) 50 1159-213