UNESCO celebrates World Press Freedom Day 2014
Amman, 4 May 2014 – World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Under the global theme “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda”, World Press Freedom Day 2014 examines the interrelated issues of the role of media in development, the correlative of the need for the safety of journalists, and matters related to the development of journalism itself. In addition to various events and activities held around the globe to commemorate this day, an international conference will be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 5-6 May.
“On this World Press Freedom Day, we call on all States, societies and individuals to actively defend freedom of expression and press freedom as fundamental rights and as critical contributions to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the post-2015 development agenda” Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations and Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, stated on this occasion.
Jordan joins the world in celebrating on Sunday 4 May 2014 the World Press Freedom Day. The UNESCO Amman office held a full day event to celebrate World Press Freedom Day under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali, and in partnership with UN Women, Jordan Media Institute, Arab Women Media Center, and Imdad Media Center. As part of the event hosted by Jordan Media Institute, two consultations were held to gather insights and recommendations from representatives of civil society institutions, media stakeholders and professionals, to feed into the global Post 2015 Development Agenda dialogues and the Beijing+20 national review and advocacy initiative, with special focus on Women and the Media.
In 2014, the UN Country Team in Jordan has been selected as one of seven countries to run the second round of post-2015 dialogues under the theme “Partnership with civil society and other actors”. The consultations will enable civil society to contribute substantively to the shaping of key policies related to the implementation for the post-2015 development agenda by sponsoring open dialogues with the national government and key actors/stakeholders. This dialogue also aims at supporting strategic alliances among civil society networks to strengthen constituencies and amplify action on the implementation, monitoring and accountability of the future agenda. UNESCO Amman Office has taken the leadership in exploring new venues of collaboration with civil society organizations on media related issues.
The recommendations emerging from the “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda” will contribute to national and global conversations which advocate for the inclusion of freedom of speech and the media as a strategic supporting factor to achieve the post 2015 Development Agenda.
Equally, the findings resulting from the consultations on “The Role of Media in Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment within the Beijing+20 consultations” will be presented to UNWomen and included within the organization’s report on the Beijing+20 national initiative.
UNESCO Amman Office is currently partnering with UNWOMEN for the national Beijing+20 consultations and taking the lead for the thematic area “Women and the Media” as the only UN agency with a mandate for the promotion of the free flow of ideas by word and image.
Adopted at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is a pioneering agenda for women’s empowerment and gender equality worldwide. Twenty years later, the international community is reconvening at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2015 to review progresses and challenges in implementing the Platform for Action and to develop new strategies for progress (Beijing +20). Realizing Beijing +20 in Jordan aims to assess current gaps and priorities in the field of women’s rights and gender equality in Jordan, catalysing current gender-focused initiatives and identifying concrete measures to accelerate the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. Working in close collaboration with national partners and the United Nations Country Team, the process is based on two main pillars: national reviews/consultations and advocacy campaigns.
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