Pledge at Vienna conference on the safety of journalists

Norway's pledge by Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt at the high-level multistakeholder conference in Vienna to mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan of action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.


dear champions of press freedom.

On the 2nd of November we paid tribute to the many journalists and media workers who have been killed because of their work. And we deplored the fact that most of these killings go unpunished.

Fredid Román in Mexico. Oleksandra Kuvshynova in Ukraine. Shireen Abu Akleh in Palestine. Jeff German in the US. I could go on.

Already this year, more than 70 journalists have been killed.

They all had a name. They all put their lives at risk to defend the human right to seek, receive, and share information and ideas of all kinds.


Today we mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the safety of journalists.

We must stand together to protect all journalists and media workers. From harassment, intimidation and attacks – on- and off-line.  

With support from countries like Norway, UNESCO has made significant efforts to document and prevent attacks against journalists. Special attention has been given to online violence against women journalists.

This work needs to continue. 

Last week, Norway signed a new agreement with UNESCO. We are increasing our support to UNESCO’s work to promote the safety of journalists, and to promote access to information as a public good.

Our flexible and multi-year funding allows UNESCO to respond to emergency situations, like the war in Ukraine.


Norway is among the safest countries in the world  to be a journalist. We strongly believe that freedom of expression, and a free press, is essential to protect our own democracy.

A diversity of independent media facilitates an open, inclusive and informed public discourse  - that is so crucial to building trust in society.

Sharing our knowledge and experience is an important part of Norway’s international engagement to promote freedom of expression.


Dear partners,

we live in a challenging time for peace and democracy.

As UN member states we have all committed ourselves to protect journalists. This is part of our joint commitment to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

I hope this conference will lead to new initiatives.

Thank you to Austria for hosting this conference together with UNESCO and the OHCHR.