In framework of permanent cooperation with UN bodies our Association sent submission to UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, professor Irene Khan for her report to General Assembly “Sustainable development and freedom of expression: why voice matters”.
That submission, prepared by professor Borys Babin, experts Titskaya Yana and Sidorenko Yulia and published on UN web-sources, stresses that the example of ongoing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine shows the genuine link between the right to freedom of opinion and the achievement of the sustainable development goals, especially on issue of absence for Ukrainian citizens of free access to media, Internet and mobile communications on occupied territories, including Crimea.
Submission reminds about ITU Report published on December, 2022 as it was foreseen by ITU Resolution 1408, and points on July 2022 in Ukraine, 12.2 per cent of homes lost access to mobile communications services, 11 per cent of base stations of mobile operators were out of service and 20 per cent of the country’s telecommunication infrastructure was damaged or destroyed.
ARC’s experts stressed in submission that right to development includes the freedom from fear and want, pointed in Atlanctic Charter, and pointed on non-possibility of state’s derogation from right to development, also as from right not to be discriminated regarding freedom of expression issues, with secial attention on rights not to be deported and issue of right to education and scientific researches.
Special attention must be paid, added ARC to UN Rapporteur, to counteraction repressions against the journalists, human rights defenders, other NGOs and indigenous structures that have goal in supporting and defending the right to development, including situations of non-democratic regimes and armed conflicts.
As UN Special Rapporteur stressed in her report A/HRC/53/25 on this issue states’ responses to disinformation and misinformation should be grounded in human rights. They should encourage the free flow of diverse sources of information, increase their own transparency, proactively disclose official data online and offline, affirm media freedom, independence, pluralism and diversity and ensure the safety of journalists.
Multi-stakeholder initiatives help to enhance transparency, accountability, collaboration and participation of civil society on various issues of sustainable development, stressed professor Khan in her report A/HRC/53/25 on this issue.