As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna | November, 2014
The United States joins the EU in praising the establishment of the First Annual International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists on November 2. A free press is an essential foundation for prosperous, open, democratic, and secure societies. Citizens who freely exercise their rights to seek, receive, and impart views and information are better able to hold their governments accountable. Every day, brave journalists take extraordinary risks to fulfill this critical function. Regrettably, hundreds of journalists have been killed in the past decade alone while pursuing their profession, and countless more have been harassed, threatened, imprisoned, mistreated and abused. Worldwide, less than 10 percent of crimes against journalists lead to arrest or punishment. This type of targeted violence against journalists continues to take place in several OSCE participating States, and it must stop.
We continue to thank the Representative on Freedom of the Media for highlighting specific cases and for being a clear courageous voice against impunity.
To mark the first-ever International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the United States commends the essential contributions made by journalists. We honor the sacrifices so many journalists have made in the course of their work, and we demand accountability for those who have committed crimes against them. Finally, we affirm that ending impunity is not only a moral imperative but also a practical necessity if we are to create free, open, and stable societies around the world.
Thank you, Madam Chair.