UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015 Should Include Freedom of Expression

Press freedom, access to information and freedom of expression are essential “enablers of sustainable development”, writes the “synthesis” report on the UN’s post-2015 development agenda, presented to the General Assembly in New York yesterday.

Over the past year, an civil society coalition of national, regional and international press freedom and media development organizations led by Global Forum for media development (GFMD) and London-based Article 19 has been advocating for the inclusion of commitments to freedom of information and media in the UN’s new global goals.  SEENPM, as a network and six of its members are part of the GFMD.

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged the adoption in 2015 of the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals, including a commitment by all countries to ensure public access to information and the protection of “fundamental freedoms” guaranteed by UN human rights treaties.  The proposed goals also include commitments to the complete eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, strong new global environmental protection measures, the elimination of deaths from preventable diseases, and the fulfillment of past pledges on gender equality and universal childhood education.