Online event: Special Rapporteurs launch the 2021 Joint Declaration

Online event: Special Rapporteurs launch the 2021 Joint Declaration - Media


Time: Wednesday, 20 October 2021, 9:30 Washington DC, 14:30 London and 15:30 Vienna

On 20 October 2021, Irene Khan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Protection and Promotion of Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Teresa Ribeiro, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, Jamesina King, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information and Pedro Vaca Villareal, the Organization of American States (OAS) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, will launch their 2021 Joint Declaration on Politicians and Public Officials and Freedom of Expression. The launch will be held online and members of the public are invited to attend. 

The 22nd Joint Declaration addresses concerns about the degradation of political culture in many parts of the world and the rise of “strongman politics”, often promoting majoritarian populism, emboldening isolationist attitudes and railing against democratic institutions and limits on the exercise of power. 

In the Joint Declaration, the Rapporteurs outline a practical blueprint and series of recommendations on how to ensure the highest possible level of protection for political speech and speech on other matters of public interest, including through the media and digital communication platforms. Recommendations are addressed to key stakeholders – States, politicians and political parties as well as social media companies and the media. 

Please join the Rapporteurs to discuss the following questions:

  • What are the key concerns and challenges for political expression and the actions of politicians and public officials online and offline?
  • What efforts are necessary to establish a political culture that secures public trust in transparency and equity of democratic systems and to foster a culture of public service for public interest?
  • What are the responsibilities of States and other key stakeholders, especially political parties, social media companies and the media in this area?


  • Pedro Vaca Villareal, the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression
  • Irene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression
  • Teresa Ribeiro, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

 Moderator: Courtney Radsch, ARTICLE 19

Join the discussion

To follow the discussion online, please use: #2021JointDeclaration

Joint Declarations by the Special Rapporteurs have been adopted annually since 1999, covering current universal challenges to freedom of expression. They have since become annual initiatives to address contemporary global challenges to free expression and present recommendations to States and other stakeholders.