The Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM) on the topic of The Role of the Free Media in the Comprehensive Approach to Security takes place in Vienna from 2 – 3 November 2017. The meeting is co-organized by the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship, the OSCE Representative on the Freedom of Media (RFOM) and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
The meeting is aimed at providing a forum to evaluate the existing interrelationship between the media and security across the OSCE region, but also to share best practices on how this relationship may be enhanced to the benefit of free media and security interests. It considers, among other topics, such areas as “peace journalism” and professional standards which are considered as effective tools for the fostering of sustainable security and regional stability.
Representatives of OSCE participating States, OSCE institutions, and OSCE executive structures, representatives of inter-governmental organizations, legal professionals, representatives of civil society and researchers from 57 participating States took part in discussions.
Taking an active part in discussions, Head of Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights Dr. Ahmad Shahidov spoke about the role of free media in Europe’s security and shared his thoughts on it. The human rights defender said that in recent years, the attitude towards free press has sharply aggravated in different European countries and considered persecution, killing of journalists as threat to national security of countries. At the same time the threat of terrorism in Europe is increasing day by day, said Ahmad Shahidov and noted that joint action is very important: “All these negative circumstances threaten Europe’s security. Pressure to the free press, the press that serves different interests keeps the country from evolving, free societies are drowned and ultimately the democratic view of Europe changes. Europe loses both democracy and security. I think that first of all the relationship between the media and security across the OSCE region must be enhanced to the benefit of both the free media and security interests. Free press and security are valuable elements. In no case do sacrifice to each other. These are elements that are closely interdependent. Because in a country that has no security, it is inappropriate to speak of free press and freedom of expression. There can be no progress and development in countries where there is no free media.”