Freedom of Responsible Expression

"Kotahi te kōhao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro mā, te miro whero, te miro pango. There is but one eye of the needle through which white, red and black thread must go." – Kiingi Pootatau Te Wherowhero

What is Freedom of Responsible Expression

In a UNESCO context, Freedom of [Responsible] Expression encompasses the: free flow of ideas by word and image that contributes to peace, sustainability, poverty eradication and human rights”.

How will we support Freedom of Responsible Expression?

Our approach is to work in partnership with communities to support freedom of responsible expression. We want to bring together civil society and communities to discuss ways to celebrate diversity through an increased understanding of human rights and supporting a more inclusive society for all.

Why have we made this a priority?

As the government continues to implement its work to address the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the events of the Christchurch mosque shootings, we believe we have a role to play in continuing to support diverse communities in Aotearoa New Zealand through our programmes and the work we are undertaking in our priority areas at a local, national and international level.

Key to this is working together with our associate members, cooperating agencies and community groups, to promote our programmes and the work we are doing to address disinformation and freedom of expression.

In this work we recognise the unique New Zealand context, grounded in Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles and informed by Māori tikanga and values as they sit at the heart of what UNESCO strives to achieve.

What work have we undertaken in this area?

In 2019, in partnership with Ngāi Tahu and the Human Rights Commission we organised a national Youth Diversity Forum which was held in Christchurch. This was followed by a Youth Declaration Call For Action which called for individual as well as community and institutional change. The Declaration was then presented to UNESCO at the 40th General Conference in Paris.

In 2021 we supported the Race Unity Speech Awards and Hui, an important national event which enables young people to share their ideas and deepen their understanding of race relations issues in Aotearoa.

We continue to work in partnership with our communities to help stimulate conversations about human rights.

Next up:

Indigenous Knowledge and the UN Decade of Indigenous Languages.
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