UNESCO is the specialized UN agency responsible
for the promotion and protection of freedom of expression and press freedom. It
has a specific mandate to promote “the free flow of ideas by word and image”
and sees freedom of expression as an inalienable human right set down in
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
UNESCO promotes policies for press freedom as
well as the safety of journalists more broadly. It also leads the global
coordination of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the
Issue of Impunity, which aims to create a free and safe environment for
journalists and media workers, both in conflict and non-conflict situations.
UNESCO participates in MFC discussions as an
observer and makes its expertise and resources available to the MFC membership.
It also administers the Global Media Defence Fund, which the MFC established
and continues to support.