The UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh has hosted a roundtable discussion on media freedom and human rights with the participation of over seventeen prominent national media outlets as well as some prominent civil society organizations.
The Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Hasan Mahmud was the chief guest at the occasion.
In the opening remarks the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Gwyn Lewis, said “Article 39 of the Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees freedom of expression and opinion as well as freedom of media. Today’s discussion is particularly timely given the political events over the past days and the important role that the media has in representing the many different views across the country. A responsible and credible media hold all parties to account, and provides solid and reliable information to citizens and voters of a country.”
Commenting on the implementation of media freedom commitments, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting of Bangladesh, Dr. Hasan Mahmud, stated that “the protection of human rights benefits and strengthens democratic society based on debate, discussion and the rule of law. Media freedom is essential.”
Among the participants of the roundtable were the Ambassador of Switzerland, Ms. Natalie Chuard, and the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Bangladesh, Dr. Bernd Spanier, who gave an overview of the media landscape in the EU and highlighted the importance of independent media to hold governments and businesses to account.
“Free press is vital to any society. It is not only a stimulating debate but also keeps us all honest. It is strengthening democracy,” said the Swiss Ambassador.