“This is great news which will propel the IFJ into new areas where our partnership with UNESCO will be stronger and where we will acquire new advantages and responsibilities,” said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President in a letter to all affiliates. “The new status will give us the opportunity to collaborate closely, regularly and effectively with UNESCO by exchanging information and documents on matters of joint interest, in particular on journalists’ safety.”
UNESCO says the decision to upgrade the IFJ’ status was pursuant to new Directives concerning UNESCO’s partnership with non-governmental organisations and, in particular, the reclassification of all NGOs in official relation with the Organisation in one of the two new partnership categories (consultation and association).
According to these Directives, the associate status, which is established for a renewable period of eight years, involves close and sustained cooperation in defining and implementing the Organisation’s programme.
“We will be able to get associated as closely and regularly as possible with the various stages of the planning and execution of parts of the UNESCO’s programme relevant to journalists,” added Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary.
The IFJ is considering ways to consolidate its partnership with UNESCO, in particular the possibility of a framework agreement for cooperation in line with UNESCO Directives, concerning general cooperation and setting the joint priorities.
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries.