On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has called for world leaders to defend journalists and media houses across the globe, saying a free press was crucial to counter misinformation prevailing today. This year, the theme adopted by the UN on World Press Freedom Day is: “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s Role in Advancing Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.”
The UN is also holding an event in Jakarta, Indonesia. The UNESCO, the Government of Indonesia, and the Press Council of Indonesia are co-organising the main event on World Press Freedom Day. The event will also see the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize being awarded.
Following is the statement issued by Guterres, as shared by the United Nations:
“Journalists go to the most dangerous places to give voice to the voiceless. Media workers suffer character assassination, sexual assault, detention, injuries and even death. We need leaders to defend a free media. This is crucial to counter prevailing misinformation. And we need everyone to stand for our right to truth.
On World Press Freedom Day, I call for an end to all crackdowns against journalists — because a free press advances peace and justice for all. When we protect journalists, their words and pictures can change our world.”
You can watch the video released by the UN, below:
Observed internationally, World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in the year 1993. This, following a recommendation that was adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in the year 1991. It came in response to a call by journalists from Africa who had then produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.
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