Human rights and globalization: The media’s responsibility | Press Releases | DW | 21.03.2011
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Press Releases

Human rights and globalization: The media’s responsibility

Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum taking place from June 20-22, 2011. More than 1,500 participants from around the world are expected at the fourth in this series of events.


The Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum will open this year on June 20. The three-day conference – the fourth in this series of events – will examine “Human Rights in a Globalized World – Challenges for the Media”. Dirk Niebel, German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, will be in attendance to discuss the relevance of human rights in Germany’s policies for development.

Deutsche Welle expects approximately 1,500 participants from around the world, including representatives from politics and business, culture and the media. Among those attending are Markus Löning, German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe and Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Morten Kjaerum, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL and Aidan White, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists. The former Federal Chancellor of Austria, Wofgang Schüssel has also noted his attendance. Among other duties, Schüssel is now in the Board of Trustees for the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Board of Directors at RWE.

The podium discussions and workshops taking place from June 20-22 in the World Conference Center Bonn will address a range of different questions related to the media and human rights. How can the media better meet the increased demands to deliver information, analysis and evaluation of global interaction – especially in light of current developments? And how can the media help to sustainably sharpen awareness of the universal validity of human rights? In addition, the participants will examine how the media can promote respect for and assertion of these rights, especially in closed societies.

“The media can be a powerful instrument for the realization of human rights,” says DW Director General Erik Betterman. “Ideally, they serve as living human rights. The digitalization of information and communication technology and the creation of new means of media distribution like blogs and social media have made the world more democratic. This is an opportunity for citizens and, at the same time, a threat to isolated political systems.” However, Bettermann believes that many are still unaware of the contents of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and that is where the media can serve as an informational bridge and an instrument of enlightenment. “The media should be held responsible around the world.”

Partners of the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2011 include the OSCE, the Council of Europe, Amnesty International, the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation, the German Institute for Human Rights, Reporters Without Borders, UN Water, the European Council on Foreign Relations, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, the German Development Institute, CARE Germany-Luxemburg, the Development and Peace Foundation, the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC) and many other organizations.

Six of this year’s partners have been included in the University of Pennsylvania’s list of 50 leading think tanks.

DW will also be awarding the winners of its international blog awards, The BOBs, at this year’s Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. This is the contest’s seventh year and prizes will be awarded in six categories and 11 languages.

Co-host of the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum is the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Sparkasse in Bonn. The convention is also supported by the German Federal Foreign Ministry, the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia, European Funds for Regional Development, the city of Bonn and Deutsche Post DHL.

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Christoph Jumpelt

Christoph Jumpelt

Head of Corporate Communications and Spokesperson

T. +49.228.429-2041