VIENNA, November 23 (Itar-Tass) — Representatives of specialized United Nations agencies and international non-governmental organizations discussed problems of journalist security at a meeting in the Austrian capital on Friday. The first such forum held in Paris under the UNSECO auspices last year worked out an action plan on this subject.
Consultations on how to implement this action plan were held at the United Nations Vienna headquarters this year. All security requirements were observed. However, the meeting was closed to the press. The only media man who took part in the gathering was Mikhail Gusman, the first deputy general director of the Itar-Tass news agency.
The participants in the discussion concluded that no new large-scale programs were necessary for the provision of security of journalists. Real actions and concrete steps in places where journalists have to work are much more important given that most journalists die while trying to expose schemes designed by corrupt local authorities who have links with organized crime rather than covering armed conflicts.
The meeting in Vienna stressed the importance of getting the authorities’ support, especially in making punishment imminent. Its open secret that most perished journalists had fallen victim to homicide whose contractors and perpetrators went away with impunity in 90% of cases.
The forum called on national governments to bring all people guilty of committing those contract murders to justice and create conditions for unhindered work to journalists during armed conflicts and in peace time.