The Monitor :: Media Freedom Crucial - France Ambassador
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Wednesday 20 February 2019, 16:39 pm.
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Media Freedom Crucial - France Ambassador

The Ambassador of France to Botswana Pierre Voillery said at a media appreciation session that media freedom was crucial for democracy and good governance.
By Nnasaretha Kgamanyane Mon 11 Feb 2019, 14:08 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Media Freedom Crucial - France Ambassador








Speaking at the French Embassy residence on Thursday evening, Voillery explained that Botswana was a well-known example of good governance partly because the media could operate freely. He said there is room for improvement like everywhere. He, however, pointed out that the freedom of media in Botswana was remarkable and commendable.

“Politically speaking, I think 2018 was an exciting year with the first press conference addressed by the President of the Republic in 10 years. I assume 2019 will be even more thrilling as the country is heading towards general elections. I sincerely hope the media at large will be part of the campaigns and pass on information to the people come election date. You have an important role to play in assuring the people can be informed and vote in full knowledge,” he said.

Furthermore, Voillery emphasised that the French government had unwavering commitment to press freedom and to the freedom of expression and to the protection of journalists worldwide.

He said his country was committed to promoting the right to freedom of opinion and freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

He explained that France had ratified all the main international legal instruments on human rights in which freedom of opinion and expression was enshrined.

The ambassador added that his country was very pro-active in this topic inside the multilateral and international organisations.

“It is in

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the wake of a joint initiative by France, Greece and Reporters without Borders that the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1738 on the protection of journalists in conflict situations, back in 2006.  France is also closely involved in the protection of journalists through other UN agencies, most notably UNESCO, which has incorporated the safety of journalists into its mandate,” he said.

He added that France organised an International Conference, which had the following theme “civil societies, media and public authorities: Democracies facing the manipulation of information”.

The conference aimed to mobilise all actors concerned, French and foreign actors in support of an agenda focusing on concrete, democratic and collaborative solutions in order to address the manipulation of information.

Moreover, he added that as to the collaboration between the two countries in the media industry, they had the pleasure to visit from Antoine Cormery, a famous French TV presenter from the TV channel France 24 who came to train some of Btv’s journalists in August last year.

He explained that the training session aimed at consolidating Btv journalists’ skills in terms of events coverage and television presentation. This was part of an agreement that was signed between the two TV stations for the broadcasting of France 24 on Btv.

Voillery also stated that negotiations were also ongoing between the Alliance Française de Gaborone and Btv for the broadcasting of French classes on television.

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