53rd session of the Human Rights Council
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
Geneva, 23 June 2023
Thank you, Mister President.
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.
We thank the Special Rapporteur for presenting her latest report.
[Freedom of expression and access to information are integral to achieving sustainable development that leaves no one behind. Human rights defenders, journalists and media workers have a vital role in advancing sustainable development, and restricting their actions and suppressing their voices hinders global efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda goals.]
Special Rapporteur, as you mention in your report, a harrowing 97 per cent of the world’s population today is estimated to be living in countries where civic space is either closed, severely repressed, obstructed or has narrowed.
Nordic-Baltic countries condemn all threats, attacks and killings of human rights defenders, journalists and media workers. It is the duty of all States to ensure that they can carry out their work free from attacks, harassment, intimidation and reprisals both online and offline.
With less than halfway to 2030 we are far from achieving the SDGs, including strengthening information, media and digital literacy, breaching digital divides, and ensuring connectivity for all humans to a free, secure and open Internet, which promotes inclusion and participation in societies. What we see instead is more censorship and internet shutdowns.
Madam Special Rapporteur, what can we do to strengthen a multi-stakeholder approach that can help support meaningful participation of women and Indigenous Peoples in decision-making and development processes?