(Image ©UNESCO)

Groups: UNESCO Pullout Threatens Reporters' Safety

Point out it is lead agency in UN safety action plan

Two groups focused on protecting the safety of journalists say President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of UNESCO (the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) threatens that safety.

In a joint statement, they pointed out that UNESCO is the lead agency implementing the UN's action play on journalist safety.

"We call on the U.S. government to reverse this decision, and strengthen its commitments to multilateral organizations that promote freedom of expression – a core value to international human rights law and the US Constitution," they said Friday.

UNESCO has tracked the killing of almost 1,000 journalists and media workers in the past decade, they point out.

The groups also linked the move to President Donald Trump's own recent attacks on journalists .

"At a time when the world is becoming less safe for journalists, and when restrictions on freedom of expression are multiplying, US withdrawal from UNESCO is deeply troubling," they said, "especially when coupled with recent vocal attacks on independent and critical media by U.S. President Donald Trump."