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Germany Makes First Contribution To The Global Media Defence Fund

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By Cyber Era Staff

On November 26, 2020, UNESCO and Germany signed a funding agreement for a first support to the Global Media Defence of an amount of EUR 100,000 (US$ 120,000). The agreement was signed by Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Germany to UNESCO, His Excellency Peter Reuss with UNESCO Deputy Director-General, and interim Assistant-Director-General for Communication and Information, Xing Qu,.

As a member of the Media Freedom Coalition, Germany is excited to become a contributor to the Global Media Defence Fund. Earlier this year the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that press freedom was crucial for democracy, and that journalists must be able to look critically at the government and all political actors.

UNESCO commends Germany for its continuous commitment to media freedom and safety of journalists, as well as for contributing to a multilateral and shared modality such as the Global Media Defence Fund – which follows the modality of a standard UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

Germany is joining forces with other seven donors, becoming the third largest contributor to this fund, created one year ago. The initial donors were the United Kingdom and Canada with their respective pledges of £3 million (US$3,95 M) over five years, and of one million Canadian Dollars in 2019, and an additional million in 2020 (for a total of US$ 1,52 M). Other donors that have contributed so far are the Czech Republic (US$ 12,952 in 2019, and US$ 13,302 in 2020), as well as Latvia and Luxemburg (each EUR 10,000 in 2019). An additional donation of EUR 30,000 (US$36,000) has also been pledged by Serbia.

The Global Media Defence Fund’s first Call for Partnerships received 110 proposals from not-for profit organizations from all regions of the world and targeting over 50 countries. Among the 44 preselected proposals,17 are situated in Africa and a majority from the Global South (See). The Fund is also supporting the work of the High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom. This Fund synergizes with other activities implemented by UNESCO in the field of freedom of expression, and its action contributes to the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

The Media Freedom Coalition is a partnership of countries that have agreed to work together to advocate for media freedom and the safety of journalists, as well as to raise the costs to those who harm journalists for doing their job. Formed at the initiative of the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada, as part of the Global Campaign on Media Freedom, which has also triggered the creation of the Global Media Defence Fund, administered by UNESCO.

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