Sunday was United Nation's "World Press Freedom Day." While calling attention to the importance of press freedom is an important and worthy activity, the United Nations presuming to lecture the rest of the world about press freedom is about as hypocritical as the Federal Reserve hosting a "Transparency in Monetary Policy Day."
This is because the UN has a long history of blocking reporters from covering their activities. Campaign for Liberty joined a letter signed by a variety of pro-liberty organizations to the UN highlighting their abuse of press freedoms. Of course, the ultimate solution is for Congress to stop wasting taxpayer money on this organization by getting the US out of the UN.
Text of the letter available here and below:
April 30, 2015
On May 3, the United Nations (UN) will celebrate “World Press Freedom Day,” even though the organization has an abysmal track record of press freedom.In October of last year, at a tobacco control meeting in Moscow hosted by the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), the media was banned from reporting and physically removed from the conference site just before the body voted to adopt an international tobacco tax. That meeting, complete with caviar dinners and luxury hotel stays for WHO officials, cost taxpayers from around the world more than $20 million. Two years earlier, at a similar WHO meeting in Seoul, the same cabal of unelected and unaccountable taxpayer-funded international bureaucrats barred media. There are numerous other examples of attempts by the UN to silence the media, including the blacklisting by the WHO of a prominent reporter investigating that agency’s failure to appropriately respond to last year’s West African Ebola outbreak. These instances paint a disturbing portrait of taxpayers unknowingly funding anti-democratic actions they would never tolerate by their own governments.
To date, neither the UN nor the WHO has made any effort to explain why it kicked journalists out of taxpayer-funded conferences or blacklisted members of the media from covering important stories.
The undersigned taxpayer groups, watchdog organizations and free market think tanks from around the world are asking the United Nations for a full explanation of why these attacks on the press were allowed to happen.
At the foundation of any free and fair society is a government that respects the freedom of the press and upholds that principle by guarding against any efforts to dilute the open exchange of news and ideas.
Taxpayers should never be put in a position where their hard-earned contributions to government coffers are used to support organizations that do no respect the freedom of the press. Unfortunately, in the case of the United Nations, this is exactly what taxpayers around the world are being forced to do.
Organizations from across the globe have a message for the UN: We will not tolerate our governments wasting taxpayers’ money on organizations that do not respect the values we cherish most and we call on governments to cease funding organizations that operate behind closed doors absent openness and transparency.
Advance Arkansas Institute
African Liberty Organization for Development
Isack C. Danford
African Students For Liberty
Susan A. Carleson
American Civil Rights Union
Americans for Tax Reform
Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance
John F. Tate
Campaign for Liberty
Campaign to Free America
Canadian Taxpayers Federation
Centre For Policy Studies
Centre for Research into Post-Communist Economies
Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies
Guillermo Peña Panting
The Eleuthera Foundation, Honduras
Frontiers of Freedom
Fundación Atlas para una Sociedad Libre, Argentina
Raja Juli Antoni
The Indonesian Institute Center for Public Policy Research
Institute for Leadership and Development Studies, Malaysia
Luis E. Loria
Instituto de Desarrollo Empresarial y Acción Social, Costa Rica
Institute for Liberty
Japanese for Tax Reform
Liberal Alternative Institute, Macedonia
Media Research Center
National Taxpayers Union
Network for a Free Society
New Zealand Taxpayers' Union
Palthink for Strategic Studies, Palestine
Property Rights Alliance
R Street Institute
Rio Grande Foundation
Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal
Adinda Tenriangke Muchtar
SuaraKebebasan.org (Freedom Voice, Indonesia)
Frank Asiedu Bekoe
Taxpayers Alliance of Ghana
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Tea Party Nation
Youth Freedom Network
Tags: First Amendment, United Nations