Reply to the Opening Session of the RFOM Conference “Media Freedom in Volatile Environments”
As delivered by Public Affairs Counselor Jonathan P. Lalley
June 19, 2017
Thank you, Mr. Moderator.
On behalf of the United States, I want to welcome the Chairmanship and the Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media’s continued engagement to keep these issues at the top of the OSCE agenda. Thank you for convening this important and timely conversation. We are delighted to see so many friends and partners around the table.
The United States is the most vibrant, pluralistic media environment in the world. Freedom of speech and of the press are enshrined in our Constitution. Secretary Tillerson in his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week reaffirmed his and the Administration’s belief that an open and unrestricted press is a vital part of transparent and accountable governance.
We agree that we can all do more to strengthen journalist protections. We agree that there is a need for more fact-based reporting. And we agree that these issues need to be addressed democratically and in a manner consistent with OSCE principles and commitments.
We look forward to engaging in a good-faith dialogue on these issues today.