Press association urges president to acknowledge openness, accountability at summit

Kimberly Chow | Content Regulation | News | April 9, 2015

The Reporters Committee has forwarded a letter of Inter American Press Association president Gustavo Mohme to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the 7th Summit of the Americas to be held this week, calling for a declaration that reaffirms a commitment to freedom of expression and access to information.

The IAPA letter calls on President Obama and the other leaders participating in the summit to bear in mind that freedom of expression and of the press is a fundamental human right essential to the functioning of democracy. Public transparency and an environment that empowers diverse ideas are cornerstones of democratic societies, the letter explains.

“The future will determine if in the Declaration that emerges from this Summit the government leaders of the Americas will have shown to be firm that full and true cooperation can only be achieved when there is democratic conviction, and no member of the public is excluded or discriminated against for thinking, expressing an opinion or for being different,” the letter says.

The 7th Summit of the Americas will take place in Panama on April 10-11, 2015.

The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. The Reporters Committee is a regional representative to the IAPA.