HUMAN RIGHTS AND PRESS FREEDOM

Lord Ahmad announced as keynote speaker at conference

Lord Ahmad

Lord Ahmad, keynote speaker at Editors’ Conference.

By Bill Heaney

UK Minister for Human Rights, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon will deliver a speech at the Society of Editors 20th anniversary conference this November.

Lord Ahmad was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and as Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in June 2017. His Ministerial portfolio was expanded to also cover South Asia and Afghanistan in July 2019.

Lord Ahmad is an advocate of media freedom and is committed to tackling abuses against the media. He has played a significant role in encouraging countries around the world to sign the Global Pledge and become a member of the Media Freedom Coalition, of which the UK is a founding member. 

At the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the 25 September 2019 Lord Ahmad spoke out about the current crackdown on journalists across the world, calling it a deep-rooted problem and a rebuke to the rule of law.

Lord Ahmad said that a free media is essential to any democracy and the bedrock on which other freedoms are borne and built. He stressed how integral it is for free and open debate, to root out corruption and hold governments to account.

Lord Ahmad said that “The UK is committed to being a good global citizen and we believe there is a moral imperative to stop the threat to media freedom, whether it’s violence, unduly restrictive laws and regulations, imprisonment, detention or internet censorship”

The Executive Director, Ian Murray said “The Society of Editors conference comes at a time of great uncertainty and growing concerns over press freedoms. It is important the industry comes together to debate these issues”

The Anniversary Conference has already secured a line-up of important figures in the UK Media and elsewhere, including the UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham and national newspaper editors Ted Verity (The Mail on Sunday), Alison Phillips (Daily Mirror) and Chris Evans (The Telegraph).

A panel scrutinising the survival of investigative journalism has also been announced with Claire Newell (Daily Telegraph), Paul Henderson (Daily Mirror), Jane Bradley (BuzzFeed) and Tom Bristow (Archant Investigations Unit).

More details of the conference programme  and speakers details  how to secure places at this year’s conference on 12 November at Stationers’ Hall, click here.

Read more about Lord Ahmad’s professional and political biography, including his general responsibilities below:

Lord Ahmad has previously worked as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief (2017-2019), Minister for Aviation and Trade and Minister for Skills & Aviation Security at the Department for Transport (2015-2017), Minister for Countering Extremism at the Home Office (2015-2016) and Local Government and Communities Minister (2014-2015).

He has also undertaken the role of Government Whip and Lord in Waiting to HM the Queen (2012-2014), Vice-Chairman (national) of the Conservative Party (2008-2010) and Councillor (Wimbledon Park) and Cabinet Member in the London Borough of Merton (2002-2012).


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