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China urges protecting journalists in conflicts

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-18 05:57

UNITED NATIONS - China condemned all acts of violence against journalists and called on parties to the conflicts to stop attacks against them and support measures by the international community to protect them, a Chinese envoy to the United Nations said Wednesday.

Journalists are "the ones on the forefront of the conflict to provide us with firsthand and timely information on the ground," said China's Permanent Representative to the UN Li Baodong at an open debate, stressing that protection of journalist is an important part of civilian protection in armed conflicts.

Those countries concerned "should assume primary responsibility" for the protection of journalists in conflicts, said Li,"..parties to the conflicts should fulfill their obligations under the Geneva Convention and do all they can to prevent and stop all harms done to journalists."

Li proposed that all agencies and organs of the UN should enhance their coordination and cooperation in jointly promoting the protection of journalists in conflicts, noting that " journalists should also abide by professional code of conduct and the principle of impartiality and objectivity in their coverage".

From the prospect of peaceful resolution of conflict, Li held that the UN Security Council should adopt an integrated strategy of conflict-prevention and peace-building which enhances the protection of civilians including journalists.

"From my own three years of experience in the council, I feel deeply that the council should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, be steadfast in promoting cooperation, achieving common security and lasting peace and giving civilians the best and most effective protection," said Li.

"China will involve more deeply with the council in peace- making, peacekeeping and peace-building based on these principles. We will work with other member countries in enabling the council to play a greater role in maintaining international peace and security,"he added.

Violence against journalists has worsened around the world in recent years. In 2012, a total of 121 journalists were killed globally, according to International Federation of Journalists.

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