The Paris Peace Forum and the International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM) has invited Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray to participate in the Paris Peace Forum.

The invitation is also for the minister to join the Forum for a private roundtable on actions to scale up financial support to independent media in low- and middle-income countries.

The session will be held from 13:15 to 14:15 on 11 November 2022 at the Paris Peace Forum in Palais Brongniart.

IFPIM is a transformative multilateral response to what has been acknowledged by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, when providing his backing to the initiative, as a “potential media extinction event” with grave implications for democracy and development.

IFPIM provides an efficient, legitimate and independent mechanism to scale up financial support to independent media in crisis in resource poor and fragile settings and accelerate the development of long term, systemic solutions to the financial challenges confronting the sector.

The idea was discussed last year at the Forum when Maria Ressa, co-chair of the Fund and 2021 Nobel Peace prize laureate, made a powerful plea for democracy-supporting actors to join her in creating a new kind of multilateral cooperation to address this existential challenge.

The Fund has also received backing from several philanthropic actors and technology companies. US President Joe Biden himself announced up to $30 million of seed funding to IFPIM at the opening of the December 2021 US Summit for Democracy.
Since then, the Fund has received financial support from governments as diverse as Switzerland, Taiwan, Sweden, New Zealand and Estonia with several other governments, corporates and philanthropic organisations also pledging to join this collective initiative.

The Fund is preparing to formally launch in early 2023 and is at a pivotal point to consolidate the group of its founding funders.

This roundtable will provide an opportunity to get an update on the Fund and hear from existing and new supporters, as well as from the journalists most affected by this crisis.

Ministers and senior government officials from a dozen countries and several executives from leading philanthropies and tech corporations are expected to join to share their perspectives on scaling up collective efforts in support of independent media and insights on how best to progress the International Fund and its collaboration with other initiatives.

The international response to this media extinction crisis needs a step change to meet the scale of the challenge and we hope you will join the conversation to help shape this response.