Amanpour: UNESCO’s new freedom of expression ambassador

UNESCOAce CNN journalist-anchor Christine Amanpour has been named as the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression and Journalist Safety, at a ceremony held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

She was chosen for this coveted position for her immense contribution in promoting free, independent and pluralistic media, having the right to work free from violence threats, through peace, sustainability, poverty eradication and human rights.

“In the most challenging situations, addressing the most demanding interlocutors, integrity and courage have always guided you, with the conviction that freedom of expression, media freedoms are essential for stronger societies, for healthier democracies, for peace and reconciliation as well as sustainable development –we need to defend these principles more than ever today, at a time when they are challenged across the world,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

In her acceptance speech, the newly-elected goodwill ambassador underlined the importance of independent journalists, saying they are true pillars of reform, freedom and democracy. She condemned the attacks and assassinations of media professionals and made a plea for the release of all imprisoned journalists. She said, “We’re here to make the world a better place.”

Her contribution to the journalistic world is impressive – Ms Amanpore has won every major television journalism award, including eleven News and Documentary Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards, two George Polk Awards, three duPont-Columbia Awards and the Courage in Journalism Award. Additionally, she has received nine honorary degrees, has been named a Commander in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) and was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame in 2015. She is currently also a member of the board of directors Of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the boards of directors of the Centre for Public Integrity and the International Women’s Media Foundation.

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors are some outstanding personalities who have agreed to use their talent and status to highlight the work of the organisation in education, science, culture and communication all over the world.

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