Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic informed Lord Tariq Ahmad, the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN at the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office that Belgrade was also worried about globally negative trends in media freedom and that Serbia supported a joint statement on the issue, the Beta news agency reported on Thursday.
The two met on the sidelines of the Global Conference for Media Freedom during which the participants issued a joint statement about concerns for the state of media freedom and said they were ready to contribute in the fight for independent and responsible journalism actively.
“The safety of the journalists and the issue of the impunity for crimes against them are topics which we take seriously,” Dacic told the conference, adding that the murder of a journalist was more than a personal tragedy, “it’s an attack of the society’s foundations.”
He said the impunity was an aspect which “we should be dedicated to because that’s the only way we will send the message that the crime doesn’t pay off.”
“Information is a powerful weapon,” Dacic said, but a universal code must be that is confronted with another piece of information or different argument.”
He added that the task of a responsible state was to, besides the legal regulation in the media sphere, educate people to use the media contents optimally.
Serbia’s Government will, Dacic announces, organise an international conference on media literacy in cooperation with UNESCO in Belgrade in September.
Lord Ahmad visited Belgrade last month and told N1 in an interview that the fact that Serbia did worse in the media freedom area according to the latest Freedom House report, “is a sure indicator that something has to be done.”
For the whole interview click here
Dacic also had a brief encounter with the first Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia Philip Thomas Reeker.