IPI World Congress 2012 – Declaration of Port of Spain

The Declaration of Port of Spain

Calling for the Abolition of ‘Insult Laws’ and Criminal Defamation Legislation in the Caribbean, and for the Support of Strong, Free and Independent Media. The members of the International Press Institute (IPI), meeting at their 61st Annual General Assembly during the IPI World Congress from 23 to 26 June, 2012 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago,

Note that media outlets across the wider Caribbean may be subjected to a panoply of repressive measures, from jailing and persecution to the widespread scourge of ‘insult laws’ and criminal defamation, which are sometimes used by the powerful to prevent critical appraisal of their actions and to deprive the public of information about misdeeds,

State their conviction that the Caribbean urgently needs a strong, free and independent media to act as a watchdog over public institutions,

Consider that media freedom remains a key to the establishment of good governance and durable economic, political, social and cultural development, prosperity and peace in the Caribbean, and to the fight against corruption, poverty, violent crime and disease,

Reaffirm their commitment to media freedom as a basic human right as well as an indispensable part of democracy in every country, including those in the Caribbean,

Note that Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees freedom of expression as a fundamental right, and emphasise that freedom of opinion and expression are essential to the realization of other rights set forth in international human rights instruments,

Read full official press release (pdf): IPI World Congress 2012 – Declaration of Port of Spain

Jun, 26, 2012