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Message of António Guterres on World Press Freedom Day

L'ÉPOQUE USA - May 3rd, is World Press Freedom Day. This year we mark the 30th year of this UN International Day. This year's theme as defined by UNESCO is “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights”. On World Press Freedom Day, L'ÉPOQUE USA joins the voice of António Guterres, Secretary-Generak of United Nations.

05.03.2023 © L'ÉPOQUE USA

By Barbara Robinson

Press Freedom Day 2023.
Press Freedom Day 2023.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed in December 1993 by the UN General Assembly in December 1993 on the recommendation of the General Conference UNESCO. Since then, May 3, the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration, has been observed worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. After 30 years, the historic link between the freedom to seek, disseminate and receive information and the public good is still as relevant as when it was signed. Special commemorations of the 30th anniversary are planned during the International Conference on World Press Freedom Day. May 3 is intended to remind governments of their obligation to uphold press freedom. It is also a day of reflection among media professionals on issues of press freedom and professional ethics. It is an opportunity to: - celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; - assess the state of press freedom around the world; - defend the media against attacks on their independence; - and remember journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

António Guterres - Video Message on World Press Freedom Day © United Nations

Below is the message from António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on World Press Freedom Day 2023:

«For three decades, on World Press Freedom Day, the international community has celebrated the work of journalists and media workers. This day highlights a basic truth: all our freedom depends on press freedom. Freedom of the press is the foundation of democracy and justice. It gives all of us the facts we need to shape opinions and speak truth to power. And as this year’s theme reminds us, press freedom represents the very lifeblood of human rights. But in every corner of the world, freedom of the press is under attack. Truth is threatened by disinformation and hate speech seeking to blur the lines between fact and fiction, between science and conspiracy. The increased concentration of the media industry into the hands of a few, the financial collapse of scores of independent news organizations, and an increase of national laws and regulations that stifle journalists are further expanding censorship and threatening freedom of expression. Meanwhile, journalists and media workers are directly targeted on and offline as they carry out their vital work. They are routinely harassed, intimidated, detained and imprisoned. At least 67 media workers were killed in 2022 — an unbelievable 50 per cent increase over the previous year. Nearly three quarters of women journalists have experienced violence online, and one in four have been threatened physically. Ten years ago, the United Nations established a Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists to protect media workers and end impunity for crimes committed against them. On this and every World Press Freedom Day, the world must speak with one voice. Stop the threats and attacks. Stop detaining and imprisoning journalists for doing their jobs. Stop the lies and disinformation. Stop targeting truth and truth-tellers. As journalists stand up for truth, the world stands with them», António Guterres said.

L'ÉPOQUE USA joins António Guterres' voice and powerful message and will continue to advocate for freedom of expression for all.

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