Statement in response to the report by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 13 June 2024.

Madame Chair,

In addition to the joint statement to be delivered by France on behalf of the informal Group of Friends on Safety of Journalists, I would like to make a brief statement in my national capacity.

An independent and critical press is among the most important institutions in a democratic society, and ensuring media freedom is crucial for all dimensions of security.

Norway remains committed to advancing policies that address current and future challenges, including efforts to promote a diversified, independent media sector, ensure access to information, and protect the freedom of expression for journalists, writers, artists, and other critical voices.

A keyword in all these efforts is responsibility. The platforms that host news content; the governments that set the regulations; the readers that consume news: all these actors share a responsibility to ensure that democracy in the OSCE region is not threatened by disinformation’s distortion of public debate, nor by heavy-handed responses that threaten freedom of expression.

In light of the rapid pace of development and use of digital technologies, Norway emphasizes safeguarding freedom of expression and information online.

Balancing the protection of freedom of expression and access to information while limiting the spread of disinformation is challenging, especially within the complex modern media landscape. However, the RFoM remains a relevant and highly competent resource in providing very concrete recommendations and legislative and policy analysis for the benefit of participating States.

Norway strongly supports the RFoM’s mandate and emphasizes the importance of protecting the institution’s autonomy and securing a sufficient budget.

Dear Teresa,

As your tenure as Representative is soon coming to an end, allow me to conclude by expressing Norway’s gratitude for the excellent job you have done in fulfilling the mandate of your position and the RFoM institution. We particularly appreciate the work you have done to underscore the importance of media freedom for democracy and security throughout the OSCE area.

Thank you, Madame Chair.