The Contracting States,
Desiring to implement the right of their peoples to be fully
and reliably informed,
Desiring to improve understanding between their peoples through
the free flow of information and opinion,
Desiring thereby to protect mankind from the scourge of war,
to prevent the recurrence of aggression from any source, and to combat
all propaganda which is either designed or likely to provoke or encourage
any threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression,
Considering the danger to the maintenance of friendly relations
between peoples and to the preservation of peace, arising from the publication
of inaccurate reports,
Considering that at its second regular session the General Assembly
of the United Nations recommended the adoption of measures designed to
combat the dissemination of false or distorted reports likely to injure
friendly relations between States,
Considering, however, that it is not at present practicable to
institute, on the international level, a procedure for verifying the accuracy
of a report which might lead to the imposition of penalties for the publication
of false or distorted reports, Considering, .moreover, that to prevent
the publication of reports of this nature or to reduce their pernicious
effects, it is above all necessary to promote a wide circulation of news
and to heighten the sense of responsibility of those regularly engaged
in the dissemination of news,
Considering that an effective means to these ends is to give
States directly affected by a report, which they consider false or distorted
and which is disseminated by an information agency, the possibility of
securing commensurate publicity for their corrections,
Considering that the legislation of certain States does not provide
for a right of correction of which foreign governments may avail themselves,
and that it is therefore desirable to institute such a right on the international
Having resolved to conclude a Convention for these purposes,
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of the present Convention:
1. "News dispatch" means news material transmitted in writing
or by means of telecommunications, in the form customarily employed by
information agencies in transmitting such news material, before publication,
to newspapers, news periodicals and broadcasting organizations.
2. "Information agency" means a press, broadcasting, film,
television or facsimile organization, public or private, regularly engaged
in the collection, and dissemination of news material, created and organized
under the laws and regulations of the Contracting State in which the central
organization is domiciled and which, in each Contracting State where it
operates, functions under the laws and regulations of that State.
3. "Correspondent" means a national of a Contracting State
or an individual employed by an information agency of a Contracting State,
who in either case is regularly engaged in the collection and the reporting
of news material, and who when outside his State is identified as a correspondent
by a valid passport or by a similar document internationally acceptable.
1. Recognizing that the professional responsibility of correspondents
and information agencies requires them to report facts without discrimination
and in their proper context and thereby to promote respect for human rights
and fundamental freedoms, to further international understanding and co-operation
and to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security,
Considering also that, as a matter of professional ethics, all correspondents
and information agencies should, in the case of news dispatches transmitted
or published by them and which have been demonstrated to be false or distorted,
follow the customary practice of transmitting through the same channels,
or of publishing corrections of such dispatches,
The Contracting States agree that in cases where a Contracting State
contends that a news dispatch capable of injuring its relations with other
States or its national prestige or dignity transmitted from one country
to another by correspondents or information agencies of a Contracting or
non-Contracting State and published or disseminated abroad is false or
distorted, it may submit its version of the facts (hereinafter called "communique")
to the Contracting States within whose territories such dispatch has been
published or disseminated.
A copy of the communique shall be forwarded at the same time to the
correspondent or information agency concerned to enable that correspondent
or information agency to correct the news dispatch in question.
2. A communique may be issued only with respect to news dispatches and
must be without comment or expression of opinion. It should not be longer
than is necessary to correct the alleged inaccuracy or distortion and must
be accompanied by a verbatim text of the dispatch as published or disseminated,
and by evidence that the dispatch has been transmitted from abroad by a
correspondent or an information agency.
1. With the least possible delay and in any case not later than five
clear days from the date of receiving a communique transmitted in accordance
with provisions of article II, a Contracting State, whatever be its opinion
concerning the facts in question, shall:
(a) Release the communique to the correspondents and information agencies
operating in its territory through the channels customarily used for the
release of news concerning international affairs for publications; and
(b) Transmit the communique to the headquarters of the information agency
whose correspondent was responsible for originating the dispatch in question,
if such headquarters are within its territory.
2. In the event that a Contracting State does not discharge its obligation
under this article, with respect to the communique of another Contracting
State, the latter may accord, on the basis of reciprocity, similar treatment
to a communique thereafter submitted to it by the defaulting State.
1. If any of the Contracting States to which a communique has been transmitted
in accordance with article II fails to fulfil, within the prescribed time-limit,
the obligations laid down in article III, the Contracting State exercising
the right of correction may submit the said communique, together with a
verbatim text of the dispatch as published or disseminated, to the Secretary-General
of the United Nations and shall at the same time notify the State complained
against that it is doing so. The latter State, may, within five clear days
after receiving such notice, submit its comments to the Secretary-General,
which shall relate only to the allegation that it has not discharged its
obligations under article III.
2. The Secretary-General shall in any event, within ten clear days after
receiving the communique, give appropriate publicity through the information
channels at his disposal to the communique, together with the dispatch
and the comments, if any, submitted to him by the State complained against.
Any dispute between any two or more Contracting States concerning the
interpretation or application of the present Convention which is not settled
by negotiations shall be referred to the International Court of Justice
for decision unless the Contracting States agree to another mode of settlement.
1. The present Convention shall be open for signature to all States
Members of the United Nations, to every State invited to the United Nations
Conference on Freedom of Information held at Geneva in 1948, and to every
other State which the General Assembly may, by resolution, declare to be
2. The present Convention shall be ratified by the States signatory
hereto in conformity with their respective constitutional processes. The
instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General
of the United Nations.
1. The present Convention shall be open for accession to the States
referred to in article VI (1).
2. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
When any six of the States referred to in article VI (I) have deposited
their instruments of ratification or accession, the present Convention
shall come into force among them on the thirtieth day after the date of
the deposit of the sixth instrument of ratification or accession. It shall
come into force for each State which ratifies or accedes after that date
on the thirtieth day after the deposit of its instrument of ratification
The provisions of the present Convention shall extend to or be applicable
equally to a contracting metropolitan State and all territories, be they
Non-Self-Governing, Trust or Colonial Territories, which are being administered
or governed by such metropolitan State.
Any Contracting State may denounce the present Convention by notification
to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take
effect six months after the date of receipt of the notification by the
The present Convention shall cease to be in force as from the date when
the denunciation which reduces the number of Parties to less than six becomes
1. A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made
at any time by any Contracting State by means of a notification to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. The General Assembly shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken
in respect of such request.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify the States
referred to in article VI (I) of the following:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions received in accordance
with articles VI and VII;
(b) The date upon which the present Convention comes into force in accordance
with article VIII;
(c) Denunciations received in accordance with article X;
(d) Abrogation in accordance with article XI;
(e) Notifications received in accordance with article XII.
1. The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian
and Spanish texts shall be equally authentic, shall be deposited in the
archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit a certified
copy to each State referred to in article VI (1).
3. The present Convention shall be registered with the Secretariat of
the United Nations on the date of its coming into force.