A selection of UN TV programmes, webcasts and video clips on issues in the news

Sunday, 1 May 2016

World Press Freedom Day 2016, May 3

Всемирный день свободы печати, 3 мая.
世界新闻自由日, 5月3日.
World Press Freedom Day, May 3.
Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa, 3 de mayo.
Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse, 3 mai.
الصحافة العالمية يوم الحرية، 3 مايو.

Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms: This Is Your Right!

Theme 2016 :
  • Freedom of Information and Sustainable Development
  • Protecting press freedom from censorship and surveillance overreach
  • Ensuring Safety of Journalists Online and Offline

United Nations Secretary General Statement on World Press Freedom Day 2016, May 3.

Human rights, democratic societies and sustainable development depend on the free flow of information.  And the right to information depends on press freedom.  Each year, we observe World Press Freedom Day to emphasize these fundamental principles, to protect the independence of the media and to honour media workers who risk and have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

This year, World Press Freedom Day coincides with three important milestones.  It is the 250th anniversary of the world’s first freedom of information law, covering both modern-day Sweden and Finland, and it is the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration of press freedom principles.  Finally, 2016 is also the first year of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Press freedom and the free flow of information are necessary not only to inform citizens about the Goals, but to enable them to hold their leaders accountable for fulfilling the pledges they have made.  The media – including, and increasingly, new online media -- serve as our eyes and ears.  We all benefit from the information they provide.

A free, independent and safe media environment is essential.  Yet, all too often, journalists are threatened, harassed, obstructed or even killed in the pursuit of information.  Many languish in detention, some in appalling conditions, for shedding light on governance failures, corporate malfeasance or societal problems.

I am very concerned about the increasingly restrictive environment for media workers in many countries.  Constraints on freedom of expression place shackles on progress itself.  On this World Press Freedom Day, I urge all Governments, politicians, businesses and citizens to commit to nurturing and protecting an independent, free media.  Without this fundamental right, people are less free and less empowered.  With it, we can work together for a world of dignity and opportunity for all..

Ban Ki-moon

Statement of Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General on World Press Freedom Day 2016, May 3.

Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms – This Is Your Right!
Access to Information is a fundamental freedom and part of the basic human right to freedom of expression. Receiving and imparting information, both offline and online, is a cornerstone of democracy, good governance, and rule of law.

Last year, the world agreed on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to guide all efforts over the new fifteen years, to end poverty, to protect the planet, and to ensure prosperity and lasting peace for all. The new Sustainable Development Goals include a target on public access to information and the protection of fundamental freedoms -- two interrelated objectives that are key accelerators of progress across all of the new agenda.

At this time of turbulence and change across the world, including new challenges that require global cooperation and action, the need for quality information has never been so important – this requires a strong environment of press freedom and well-functioning systems to ensure the people’s right to know.

Two hundred and fifty years ago, the first formal Right to Information legislation was enacted in what is today Sweden and Finland. A historical breakthrough at the time, this still provides inspiration today, as Governments increasingly adopt laws that allow public access to information. Twenty-five years ago, in then newly-independent Namibia, the historic Windhoek Declaration on Press Freedom was adopted, paving the way to recognition by the United Nations of World Press Freedom Day.

In marking these anniversaries, World Press Freedom Day this year highlights the importance of free and independent journalism for advancing the 2030 Agenda. This includes the safety of journalists, at a time when, tragically, a media professional is killed every five days. This cannot stand, and guided by the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, UNESCO is working with Governments around the world to create a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers everywhere.

In this spirit, I call on everyone to stand united in defending and encouraging press freedom and the right to access to information. This is essential for human rights and dignity, for our aspirations for sustainable development, for common determination to build lasting peace.

This Is Your Right!

Irina Bokova

FORUM : World Press Freedom Day - 3 May.
Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms: This Is Your Right!
UNESCO and the Government of Finland will co-host the World Press Freedom Day's main event and the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize Ceremony in 2016 which will take place in Helsinki, Finland, from 2-4 May 2016. World Press Freedom Day 2016 is organized under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö.

Safety of Media professionals

Key messages World Press Freedom Day 2016.
° Press freedom is confronted by growing challenges of blocking access to online information, whichcurbs both people's access to information as well as the range of information and expression online.
° The better the public access to information, the better the climate for respecting fundamentalfreedoms, including safety of journalists and creative cultural expression.
° Access to information is not only an end in itself, but also a means as a whole, following SustainableDevelopment Goal 16 for the 2030 Agenda.
° A culture of media freedom, pluralism and independence is essential for press freedom, highlightedin the Windhoek Declaration, adopted 25 years ago.
° Threatening press freedom is threatening access to information, because without a free press,journalists cannot collect and report their information safely and independently.
° Protecting online and offline journalism should be protected from surveillance overreach and wide-spread censorship.
 °Promoting press freedom and journalist safety will ensure public’s access to impartial and quality information.


EVENTSWPFD 2016 Main Event

UNESCO’s flagship celebration of World Press Freedom Day (3 May) will take place in Helsinki, Finland, this year from 2 to 4 May. The overarching theme of the forthcoming celebration is Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms.

For more information about Finlandia Hall, please visit their website.

  • Side Events
  • Main Conference
  • Public Seminar

  • Some one hundred World Press Freedom Day events are organized around the world

    2016 World Press Freedom Day celebrations highlight link between freedom of information and sustainable development



  •  Access to Information and Knowledge Sharing - Unesco Multimedia Archives (eServices)
  • UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (United Nations)
  • Windhoek declaration
  • World Trends Report on Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Special Digital Focus 2015 (UNESCO)
  • Countering online hate speech (UNESCO)
  • Building digital safety for journalism: a survey of selected issues (UNESCO)
  • Freedom of Information (FOI) & Women's Rights in Africa (UNESCO)
  • Freedom of expression and information

  • NEWS :

    Harsh Laws and Violence Drive Global Decline - Freedom of Press 2015.

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