UN Human Rights Council 43rd Session – Item 3 – General Debate – Intervention by ESTONIA – 5 March  2020

Madame President,

Estonia fully aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union and would like to address a few issues in its national capacity.

We welcome the presentation of Secretary General’s report on the safety of journalists that shows progress in implementing the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists, encouraging at the same time further collaboration and actions to ensure journalists and media workers an enabling environment.

In 2019, we saw the lowest annual death toll in more than a decade. However, the number and brutality of attacks on journalists and media workers are on a rise. The fight against impunity for the perpetrators is essential to preserve the fundamental right to freedom of expression. We are committed to working together with all stakeholders to seek accountability.

Estonia has, for years also highlighted that the same rights apply both online and offline. Therefore, as the importance of online media is gaining importance day by day, we need to remain committed also to freedom online. Non-discriminatory access to and accessibility of the Internet are fundamentally important for exercising the freedom to seek, receive and impart information. This enables also a stronger, inclusive and meaningful public participation that is necessary for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, as emphasized in the conclusions of the High Commissioners summary of the second intersessional meeting for dialogue and cooperation on human rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Thank you.