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NUJ reaction to FCO and DFiD merger

16 June 2020

Reacting to the UK government's announcement to merge the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with the Department for International Development (DFiD) to create a new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Seamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, said:

"The new department should include a dedicated media section with sufficient resources focused on promoting global media freedom and the safety and protection of journalists. The UK also needs to continue to fund and assist media capacity building projects globally.
"Media workers at home and abroad face escalating hostility and attacks. The government must urgently engage with the union over its commitment to establish a National Committee for the Safety of Journalists and the creation of an associated, national action plan.
"The government should also endorse the International Federation of Journalists’ draft UN Convention on the Safety and Independence of Journalists and other Media professionals.
"This new, merged department of government should offer adequate support for the BBC including the World Service and Monitoring, and commit to continuing efforts to end the harassment of BBC Persian Service journalists.
"The FCO and DFiD have had different approaches in the past and from the outset the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office should foster government accountability, transparency and constructive engagement with the relevant stakeholders, including the National Union of Journalists and other trade unions."

Tags: , government uk, ifj, journalist safety, bbc persian service, bbc world service, bbc monitoring, foreign and commonwealth office, department for international development, global media freedom