VIENNA, 4 March 2010 - Monitoring of the kind that takes place within the OSCE is crucial to encourage countries to uphold press freedom commitments, stressed Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE's Representative on Freedom of the Media, as he delivered his last report to the Permanent Council today.
Haraszti, whose second three-year term ends 10 March, highlighted the need for universal press freedom standards - a theme he has promoted consistently during his mandate.
"The greatest challenge has been upholding the very notion of universal standards. Media-freedom problems are not only omnipresent, they perpetually re-emerge," Haraszti said.
"These six years in the job have strengthened my conviction about how indispensable international scrutiny is for the fate of human rights. As democracy ultimately only can be accomplished by the people who live in a country, the international community must give unconditional and public support to those individuals who have decided to be the internal carriers of our common values and goals."
The Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media was established in 1997 to observe relevant media developments in OSCE participating States and to advocate and promote full compliance with OSCE principles and commitments in respect of freedom of expression and free media.
Haraszti was appointed in 2004, replacing Freimut Duve. He was reappointed in 2007. OSCE regulations limit OSCE Representatives on Freedom of the Media to two terms.
Haraszti, a Hungarian writer, journalist, human-rights advocate and university professor, co-founded the Hungarian Democratic Opposition Movement in 1976.
Haraszti's final Regular Report to the Permanent Council will be available at www.osce.org/fom
His successor will be named in a consensus decision by all 56 OSCE participating States.
The Permanent Council is one of the OSCE's main regular decision-making bodies. It convenes weekly in Vienna to discuss developments in the OSCE area and to make appropriate decisions.