The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has called on the Government to "implement without delay" changes to reduce or eliminate the threat posed to freedom of expression by Ireland's current defamation regime.
The association's board, which represents the press in 120 countries, endorsed the resolution at a meeting in New York.
The board said it noted "with dismay" that damages awarded by the Irish courts in defamation cases were often 10 times higher than in neighbouring jurisdictions.
The WAN-IFRA resolution "reiterates the importance of a free, independent and vibrant press, holding governments and the powerful to account, unhindered by repressive defamation laws". It added: "The board acknowledges the need for laws to protect from unjust attack the reputation of individuals. However, it endorses the oft-stated view of the European Court of Human Rights that unpredictable and excessive awards of damages and legal costs have a chilling effect upon the media and upon the right of the public to be informed of issues of significance."
NewsBrands Ireland, which represents print and online national newspapers, has argued that high awards threaten the existence of the Irish media.