IPI Trindad & Tobago Conference to Play Host to All Four Press Freedom Rapporteurs
Wednesday, 08 February 2012
Early Bird Registration Rates End 17 February
Dunja Mijatovic, OSCE representative on freedom of the media, and Faith Pansy Tlakula, special rapporteur on freedom of expression and access to information of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR), are the latest additions to a stellar line-up of speakers at this year’s IPI World Congress to be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, from 23-26 June 2012.
Mijatovic and Tlakula will join Frank La Rue, U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, and Catalina Botero, OAS special rapporteur on freedom of expression, in a roundtable discussion on freedom of expression trends worldwide.
Tlakula, a South African advocate, was appointed ACHPR Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information on 5 December 2005. She is currently the chairwoman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and chancellor of the Vaal University of Technology. Before that, she was the chief electoral officer at the IEC, a member of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), national director of the Black Lawyers Association of South Africa, and chairperson of the Council of North-West University. She has received a number of awards, including the "Rapport/City Press Prestige Women's Award" in 2006, the CEO Magazine "Most Influential Woman Award" in 2007, and the Black Business Executive Circle "Chairman's Award" in 2011.
Mijatovic, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was appointed OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media on 11 March 2010. An expert in media law and regulation, she helped create a legal, regulatory and policy framework for the media as one of the founders of the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was also involved in setting up a self-regulatory press council and the first Free Media Helpline in South East Europe.
In 2007, she was elected chair of the European Platform of Regulatory Agencies - the first non-EU member state representative and the first woman to hold this post. Previously, Mijatovic chaired the Council of Europe’s Group of Specialists on freedom of expression and information in times of crisis.
Speaking about the addition of Mijatovic and Tlakula to the IPI World Congress programme, IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said: "We are excited to have all four special rapporteurs on media freedom and freedom of expression with us in Trinidad and Tobago. At a time when the media in many parts of the world is increasingly coming under attack and the Internet landscape becomes more and more complex, support for strong and independent international mechanisms for promoting freedom of expression is more important than ever."
"We are also delighted that their presence will represent globally issues facing press freedom. What better place to have all four congregate than at the IPI World Congress where more than 300 journalists representing 70 countries will be gathered," said Bethel McKenzie.
First-Ever IPI World Congress in the Caribbean
IPI’s annual World Congress will be held for the first time in the Caribbean. Titled "Media in a Challenging World: A 360 Degree Perspective," the three-day event will examine the many challenges, concerns and opportunities facing the media worldwide. In addition, the IPI World Congress will feature a one-day seminar for reporters covering corruption, a press freedom photo exhibition, and a special gala dinner & awards evening honouring IPI’s 2012 Free Media Pioneer and 63rd World Press Freedom Hero.