Interpretive Statement on the Extension of the Mandate of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
March 7, 2013

In connection with PC.DEC/1074, and under Paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure, the United States wishes to make the following interpretive statement:

“The United States disagrees with the interpretive statement just made by the delegation of the Russian Federation.  We wish to express our strongest support for the efforts of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media to defend and promote freedom of expression through all media, including the Internet and other new technologies.  This approach is absolutely consistent with the Helsinki Final Act, which calls upon participating States to ‘promote and encourage the effective exercise of civil, political, economic, social, cultural and other rights and freedoms,’ and with the mandate of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media to ‘advocate and promote full compliance with OSCE principles and commitments regarding freedom of expression and free media.’  We reject any call to parse or restrict this broad mandate, or indeed any effort to qualify established OSCE Human Dimension commitments that protect and promote the fundamental freedoms of citizens and members of civil society groups throughout the region.”

I request that this interpretive statement be attached to the decision and included in the journal of the day.