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UNESCO and PRISA partner to support freedom of expression


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and media group PRISA signed on Monday, in Paris, a framework agreement to promote joint initiatives in favor of freedom of expression and the safety and security of journalists. Both parties also undertake to promote the expansion and improvement of education in Latin America.

The agreement provides for joint initiatives on the occasion of World Radio Day, on February 13, and for World Press Freedom Day, to be held on May 3. Additionally, the signatories will cooperate on international efforts against impunity, and gender equality in the media. PRISA’s newspapers and radio broadcasters agree to promote and give coverage to UNESCO initiatives in these areas.

In the educational field, the agreement between UNESCO and PRISA is particularly focused on Latin America, through the training of teachers, as well as on the appropriate use of educational resources, the use of technologies and the improvement of assessment and educational management. In the coming weeks, the partnership will result in concrete agreements between UNESCO and PRISA Noticias, PRISA Radio and the publisher Santillana.

The agreement was signed by the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and PRISA Executive Chair, Juan Luis Cebrián. Speaking at the Paris HQ of UNESCO, Bokova stressed the "shared message" in favor of freedom of expression and the importance of the deal which sees PRISA become the first media group to partner with UNESCO, and which will cover initiatives in Spain and throughout Latin America. "Santillana, its educational imprint, the newspaper El Pais and the more than one thousand PRISA Radio stations will be invaluable partners as we strive to train teachers or advocate for the safety of journalists," said Bokova.

The Director General of UNESCO also highlighted the advantage of signing an agreement with a group "with the power to reach millions of people who speak Spanish or Portuguese," because institutions such as UNESCO can no longer work only with governments to achieve their goals, "but also need to work with civil society, the private sector."

Juan Luis Cebrián, meanwhile, said the alliance will enable close collaboration in the educational world and in favor of freedom of expression, especially in Latin America. "Anything that promotes multilateralism and the activity of the UN in the field of culture and freedom of expression, in such a fragmented and complex world like the one we are now living in, is important, especially for the Ibero-American community. 

The signing ceremony was also attended by the CEO of PRISA, José Luis Sainz, and the CEO of PRISA Radio, Andrés Cardó, as well as Spain's ambassador to UNESCO, Juan Manuel de Barandica.

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