An international delegation of press freedom organisations, led by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, met today (3 April) with Serhii Liovochkin, Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, to discuss freedom of expression issues facing the country.
WAN-IFRA and representatives from Article 19, Freedom House, Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the Ukraine Association of Press Publishers, met with Mr Liovochkin following two-days of meetings with newspapers, broadcasters and civil society organisations and conveyed their press freedom concerns.
About a year ago I attended a meeting whose purpose was to showcase newly elected Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych before an audience consisting mostly of representatives of the world’s largest multinational corporations. Yanukovych’s remarks were carefully crafted to appeal to these guests. But he devoted the bulk of his presentation to an explanation of his commitment to the strengthening of Ukrainian democracy. Ukraine, he declared, would be Western-oriented under his watch. He promised to protect freedom of the press, minority rights, and—here he was especially emphatic—the rule of law.
This latest analytical brief looks at how the country survived the storm using administrative measures, macroeconomic policy, and international support, and argues there are no alternatives to reforming the economy.
Despite the hopes raised by the Euromaidan movement and improvements in many facets of life and governance in Ukraine, the last two years have brought the occupation of Crimea, armed conflict in parts of eastern Ukraine, and ongoing abuses, corruption, and political unrest.
The Ukrainian government has failed to fulfill its pledge to protect the freedom of expression, and corruption and poor ethical standards increasingly plague Ukrainian media, concludes a report by Freedom House.