Strengthening safety of journalists discussed at OSCE regional event in Almaty

Strengthening safety of journalists discussed at OSCE's regional event in Almaty
Photo credit: mfa.gov.kz

A regional event of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on the safety of journalists titled “Beyond the Headlines: Protecting Journalists to Advance Media Freedom” was held today in Almaty with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko participating in it, a press release of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry reads.

The Office of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro hosted the event. Among attendees were representatives of the media, academia and civil society from Central Asia and Mongolia.

Strengthening safety of journalists discussed at OSCE's regional event in Almaty
Photo credit: mfa.gov.kz

During the meeting, the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFoM) presented to the participants national tools and initiatives related to the safety of journalists, including recommendations developed by the Office – “OSCE RFoM Safety of journalists Toolbox” and “Guidelines for monitoring online violence against female journalists”.

Teresa Ribeiro noted the importance of holding such events, which serve as a platform for an open exchange of views on positive initiatives aimed at strengthening the safety of journalists as the most important foundation for media freedom, democracy and security.

Roman Vassilenko stated that since Kazakhstan’s independence, the development of multifaceted cooperation with the OSCE and within the Organization has been one of the strategic priorities of our country’s foreign policy.

It was stressed that cooperation with the OSCE fully corresponds to the conceptual vision of Kazakhstan’s development in implementing the reforms initiated by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. While going through the systemic transformation, Kazakhstan takes into account the best practices and recommendations of international organizations such as the United Nations and the OSCE.

In this regard, the Kazakh diplomat thanked Ribeiro for the expert recommendations developed by the Office of the Representative for Freedom of the Media to the draft law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Mass Media”, signed by the Head of State on June 19, 2024.

Deputy Minister Vassilenko highlighted that free and independent media are of fundamental importance for sustainable development, protection of human rights and strengthening of democracy. According to him, the safety of journalists is a prerequisite for the exercise of the universal and inalienable right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

Strengthening safety of journalists discussed at OSCE regional event in Almaty
Photo credit: mfa.gov.kz

Vice Minister of Culture and Information Kanat Iskakov, emphasized in his remarks the firm commitment of the country’s leadership to continue creating the most favorable conditions for journalists, establishing and strengthening the legal framework for protecting freedom of speech, and ensuring the safety of journalists. He provided detailed information about the provisions introduced by the new Law on Mass Media, which, according to him, “fully complies with all international standards, as well as the hopes and aspirations of the Kazakhstan’s journalistic community.” Iskakov highlighted the commitment to maintain close cooperation with the Office of the OSCE RFoM and journalists to strengthen their safety, including at the regional level.

As an outcome of the event, the parties agreed to continue the constructive partnership between the OSCE and Kazakhstan, in particular, in the implementation of systemic measures taken by the Government of Kazakhstan to protect freedom of speech and improve the legal guarantees of journalists.

Vice Minister of Culture and Information Kanat Iskakov
Photo credit: mfa.gov.kz

 

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