New UN Iraq envoy spotlights crucial role of media in ending conflict

6 November 2007

Speaking in Amman, Jordan, today on his way to assuming his position as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Staffan de Mistura stressed the key role of the media in resolving differences both within and outside the war-ravaged nation.

“We count on the media to provide a platform for open debate, and that the public remains well-informed,” Mr. de Mistura, who will succeed Ashraf Qazi in his new position, told dozens of media experts, broadcasters, representatives of the judiciary and parliamentarians at a UN-backed media law workshop.

Through its media networks, Iraq “must foster dialogue the free flow of information at all levels,” he added. “A solid legal framework within which the media operates is essential for this.”

At the workshop organized – organized by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission – he also underscored the necessity of transparency in communications within Iraq, the region and “most importantly from my perspective, between the United Nations in Iraq.”

Mr. de Mistura – a national of Sweden and Italy – has experience in Iraq, having served as Deputy Special Representative in 2005-2006.


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