The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has again stressed the need for all governments, politicians Business and citizens to commit to nurturing and protecting an independent, free media.
Ban gave the task in his message on this year’s World Press Freedom Day, with the theme “Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms – This Is Your Right!”.
He further stressed that without this fundamental right, people would be less free and less empowered.
“With it, we can work together for a world of dignity and opportunity for all,” the UN Secretary-General stressed.
A concept note by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said the World Press Freedom Day represented an opportunity to advance the fundamental principles of press freedom and to pay solemn tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
This year’s theme promotes as always, freedom of information as a fundamental freedom and as a human right, protection of press freedom from censorship and surveillance overreach and ensuring safety for journalism online and offline.
According to UNESCO “press freedom and access to information are essential to democracy and to sustainable development.
“Sometimes referred to as a “watchdog” of political and societal institutions, journalism is also much more: it demonstrates freedom of expression for society at large, it puts new questions on the development agenda, and it empowers citizens with information.
“It provides a context in which the diversity of cultural expressions can flourish”.