International conference on freedom of expression and media development in Iraq to be held at UNESCOAn International Conference on Freedom of Expression and Media Development in Iraq will take place from 8 to 10 January at UNESCO. The approximately 200 participants will include Iraqi media professionals, Iraqi government officials and representatives of international NGOs and other organizations.
The conference is organized by the Communications and Media Commission of Iraq (CMC) in cooperation with UNESCO and UNDP. A session will be devoted to journalists who have risked – and in all too many cases lost – their lives to cover events in Iraq. The CMC, founded in 2002 to regulate telecommunications and audiovisual broadcasting in Iraq, has already organized meetings in Cairo, Athens and London.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, will open the conference (8 January, 9.30 a.m.). The first session (11.30 a.m.) will examine the state of the media in Iraq today. The second session (2.30 p.m.) will address the issue of journalists’ safety and protection, notably with presentations by journalist Georges Malbrunot. The following session (4.30 p.m.), chaired by Andrew Puddephatt, Director of Global Partners and Associates, will look at international assistance for Iraqi media.
On 9 January, the first session (9.30 a.m.) will focus on ownership, editorial independence and commercial sustainability. It will be followed by a session on human and institutional capacity building and the improvement of professional standards (2.30 p.m.).
The morning session of 10 January, chaired by Jesper Hojberg, Executive Director of International Media Support, will review regulatory frameworks and legislation (9.30 a.m.); the session starting at 4.30 p.m. will be devoted to the drafting of a Declaration.
Journalists who wish to attend the conference require accreditation from the Press Relations Section.