II Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting 2020: Freedom of Expression, Media and Information

23.6.2020

On 22-23 June 2020, the Albanian OSCE Chairmanship with the support of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) held the II Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM) on the topic “Freedom of Expression, Media and Information” in online format. The meeting provided a platform for exchange of views among OSCE participating States, OSCE institutions and other executive structures and a variety of international organisations, civil society and other stakeholders on the implementation of commitments related to addressing the promotion freedom of expression, media and information in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

At the working sessions, ALRF representatives Cha Mi Vu, Anastasia Milyutina and Alan Lazarov stressed out the need forthe OSCE participating States to stick to their commitments under international legal instruments to guarantee the right to freedom of expression in times of crisis, including the right of the Russian-speaking minority to express opinion in their native language, as well as the importance of adopting a unified international legal document regulating relations on the Internet.

Special attention was given to the functioning of the portal “Prava2020” during the pandemic, providing citizens with access to reliable information about what is happening and the role of information in the modern world, maintaining information pluralism and respecting the right to search for and receive information.

It was also noted that any limitation of the right of free access of citizens to information is inadmissible, and state authorities, inter-governmental organisations and civil society should strengthen their cooperation in order to grant public access to reliable information.