Interpretive Statement on the Ministerial Council Decision on the Safety of Journalists

Gavel used to signal the adoption of new OSCE decisions and declarations. Milan, Italy, December 7, 2018. (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

Interpretive Statement on the Ministerial Council Decision on the Safety of Journalists

As delivered by Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bruce Turner
to the Ministerial Council, Milan
December 7, 2018

In connection with the Ministerial Council Decision on the Safety of Journalists just adopted, and in accordance with paragraph IV.1 (A) 6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure, the United States would like to make the following interpretive statement:

The United States strongly supports the Safety of Journalists and freedom of expression. We reiterate that any restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, for members of the media and members of the public, must be consistent ‎with states’ obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which obligates States party to respect and ensure to all individuals within their territory and Subject to their jurisdiction the right to freedom of expression. We understand any reference to “international standards” in this regard to refer to such obligations.

We understand the reaffirmation of language from the Document of the 1991 Moscow Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE to be in the context of the concerns addressed at that Meeting.

Mr. Chair, we request that this statement be attached to the decision and the journal of the day.

Thank you.