On November 11th, 2018, a few days after the publication of the Declaration and on the during the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum, 12 states responded to an appeal from the Commission on Information and Democracy chaired by RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire and Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi.
Leaders of Burkina Faso, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Senegal, Switzerland and Tunisia committed to launch a political process aiming at implementing the principles from the Declaration.
UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay, Council of Europe secretary general Thorbjørn Jagland and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres also expressed their support on this occasion. For Antonio Guterres, this initiative “comes at a crucial time when new means of communicating and disseminating information are transforming our world. Access to relevant and reliable information is therefore even more fundamental than ever.”
Since then, around twenty countries have been working on an International Partnership on Information and Democracy. This Partnership should be signed before the end of 2019 and will materialize the initial commitment taken during the Paris Peace Forum.
This Partnership has been negotiated by States sharing the same democratic values and the same vision for the global space of information and communication.
Support from Heads of State and Government:
« “We are at a major turning point today, 70 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because freedom of opinion and expression, which underpins our democracies and whose progress we had assumed to be irreversible, is in fact again threatened and questioned. I support your initiative and I am in favor of our agreeing on a set of undertakings based on the declaration presented today. I am in favor of our trying to get as many other countries as possible to join in these undertakings. And I am in favor of our creating a group of international experts on this subject, because there is no happiness without freedom and no freedom without courage. You decided to do your duty and I think we, as heads of state and government, should do the same. I would therefore like to say here that France is fully committed to backing this and I thank my fellow heads of state and government here today, who I know share this commitment.” »
“A global communication and information space built on the freedom of expression is essential. Without freedom of expression and a real communication and information space, rule of law is at risk. Carefully built institutions could be undermined.”
« “In Africa, there is an ever-stronger determination to guarantee the protection of journalists and to create the conditions for this process to be carried out properly. I fully commit to supporting the Pledge for Information and Democracy.”".
“ “We came here to tell you: yes, we are in favour of this initiative and it is the future that will provide us with the proof of this.””
Beji Caïd Essebsi
““We need to support the need to have strong and independent media in which our fellow citizens have confidence.” Canada, he said “undertakes to defend a free press through the Commission initiated by Reporters Without Borders.””.
“Pluralism and freedom of opinion must be guaranteed. Access to factual data and access to knowledge, especially knowledge of actual events, are a fundamental right.”