The FINANCIAL -- Brussels. Jordan became the third country to sign up to the Arab Declaration on Media Freedom at a ceremony organised by the IFJ and the Jordanian Press Association in Amman.
On 12 October Dr Mohammad Momani, minister of state for media affairs, signed the declaration which sets out 16 key principles on media freedom and journalists rights on behalf of the Jordanian government.
He was joined by IFJ Honorary Treasurer Jim Boumelha and Jordanian Press Association President Tariq al Moumani. The event was also attended by Federation of Arab Journalists President Moaid al Lami, and General Secretary Khaled al Maery as well as delegates from several unions from across the region.
The declaration-the culmination of a 20-month process of consultation with technical experts and media stakeholders- sets out 16 key principles to achieve the highest international standards of media freedom and protect and enhance journalists’ rights.
Among the principles in the Declaration are those covering:
• Freedom of expression
• Freedom of information
• Journalists safety
• Media law reform
• Hate speech and intolerance
• Independence of public service broadcasters
At the signing ceremony Jim Boumelha said: "We welcome both the signing and the commitment of the Jordanian government and journalists to the principles of media freedom".
"Governments have a responsibility to protect journalists and create an environment in which independent journalism can flourish. We hope the government will fight with us to defend media freedom, make Arab journalism stronger and by doing so empower citizens”.
Minister Mohammad Momani said: "We never hesitated for a second to sign this declaration. Press freedom is part and parcel of our public work and it is our duty to create the circumstances to ensure this right can grow”.
"Press freedom and freedom of speech are an integral part of the Jordanian security and the ability to engage in free discussion is our guarantor of security, stability and peace".
"We are proud our media legislation is amongst the best but this does not mean the laws do not need constant discussion and debate to ensure they properly maintain press freedom and freedom of expression”.
JPA President Tariq al Moumani added: "The JPA has a long standing record of defending journalists' rights and press freedom in Jordan and we will continue to do that. This declaration will be very useful to strengthen the dialogue between the union, the media sector and the government for more reform to ensure that Jordan is one of the leading countries in the region for its commitment to press freedom".
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is the world's largest organisation of journalists. First established in 1926, it represents around 600,000 journalists in 179 unions and associations accross 140 countries worldwide. In georgia IFJ is presented by Independent Association of Georgian Journalists (IAGJ).