UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh and Minister of Information meet journalists to discuss human rights
11 December 2022
"The protection of human rights benefits and strengthens democratic society based on debate, discussion and the rule of law. Media freedom is essential.”
Dhaka 11 December 2022: The UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh has hosted a roundtable discussion on media freedom and human rights with the participation of over seventeen prominent national media outlets as well as some prominent civil society organizations. The Minister for Information and Broadcasting was the chief guest at the occasion.
At the event, which took place on 11 December and organized by the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Bangladesh to mark International Human Rights Day, key Bangladeshi journalists talked about their experiences and the issues faced when reporting in the country.
In the opening remarks the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Gwyn Lewis, said “Article 39 of the Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees freedom of expression and opinion as well as freedom of media. Today’s discussion is particularly timely given the political events over the past days and the important role that the media has in representing the many different views across the country. A responsible and credible media hold all parties to account, and provides solid and reliable information to citizens and voters of a country.”
Commenting on the implementation of media freedom commitments, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting of Bangladesh, Dr. Hasan Mahmud, stated that “the protection of human rights benefits and strengthens democratic society based on debate, discussion and the rule of law. Media freedom is essential.”
Among the participants of the roundtable were the Ambassador of Switzerland, Ms. Natalie Chuard, and the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Bangladesh, Dr. Bernd Spanier, who gave an overview of the media landscape in the EU and highlighted the importance of independent media to hold governments and businesses to account.
"Free press is vital to any society. It is not only a stimulating debate but also keeps us all honest. It is strengthening democracy,” said the Swiss Ambassador.
During the roundtable discussions, participants discussed the challenges of reporting on human rights issues and developments in media. The role of United Nations in bringing stakeholders together was much appreciated by participants.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights outlines the freedom of expression and opinion as fundamental human rights.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda are a transformative development framework based on human rights.
The United Nations will continue to work with the Government, UN agencies, international organizations, civil society, and the media in Bangladesh as the country makes progress on the SDGs and its human rights obligations.