for the protection of free speech sp.
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON has officially endorsed the Declaration of Chapultepec, a document affirming freedom of expression and sponsored by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).
Clinton signed the historic document before a group of officers of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) at the group's convention last week in Dallas.
The president called it "a wonderful document" that reflects principles "I support and which are fundamental in the struggle for democracy."
Immediately after the signing, Clinton addressed about 650 editors meeting for the annual convention.
"I would like to begin by saying that I am very proud, and I know you are for the work the Inter American Press Association has done in its Declaration of Chapultepec," Clinton said.
"I know that you and the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) have worked tirelessly for press freedoms all throughout the Americas. Before I came out here, I was proud to sign a Charter of Endorsement for the Declaration of Chapultepec," he said.
Representing IAPA at the signing were David Lawrence Jr., IAPA first vice president and publisher of the Miami Herald; James McClatchy, chairman of McClatchy Newspapers; Edward Seaton, editor in chief of Seaton Newspapers; and Gregory Favre, ASNE president and an IAPA director.
IAPA president Ral Kraiselburd, publisher of Argentina's El Dia, expressed satisfaction at the signing by still another Western Hemisphere president. "This new endorsement of the Declaration of Chapultepec further strengthens guarantees for press freedom and democracy in the Americas," he said.
The signing by Clinton culminated several months of efforts by NAA, ASNE and IAPA officers, among them, Jack Fuller, Chicago Tribune president and CEO, and IAPA regional vice chairman for the United States of the Committee on Press Freedom and Information.
The declaration lists 10 fundamental principles for the protection of free speech. The document emerged from the Hemisphere Conference on Free Speech held in Mexico City's Chapultepec Palace in March 1994.
Journalists, publishers, writers, constitutional lawyers and political philosophers from throughout the Americas hammered out the manifesto.
The U.S. president joins 11 other heads of state who had already signed: Carlos Saul Menem of Argentina, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada of Bolivia, Ernesto Samper Pizano of Colombia, Armando Caldern Sol of El Salvador, Ramiro de Leon Carpio of Guatemala, Carlos Roberto Reina of Honduras, Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro of Nicaragua, Guillermo Endara of Panama, Juan Carlos Wasmosy of Paraguay and Luis Alberto Lacalle of Uruguay.
By: Editorial Staff Declaration lists 10 fundamental principles