02.05.2012 - ODG

Director-General celebrates World Press Freedom Day in Tunis

© Mohamed Iyadh LABBEN - Tunisian President Dr Moncef Marzouki, 2012 UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize winner Eynulla Fatullayev, Director-General Irina Bokova and President of the Jury for the prize, Diane Senghor.

From 3 to 5 May, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova was in Tunisia for an official visit and for World Press Freedom Day celebrations.

During her visit, the Director-General met with the President of the Tunisian Republic Moncef Marzouki and several government officials including the Minister of Culture Mehdi Mabrouk, Minister of Education Abdellatif Abid, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Moncef Ben Salem. She was also expected to meet the President of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka and the UN Resident Coordinator in Tunisia Mohammed Belhocine.

On 3 May, the Director-General gave the 2012 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to Eynulla Fatullayev, an Azerbaijani journalist and human rights activist.

On 4 May, the Director-General and the Prime Minister of Tunisia Hamadi Jebali launched World Press Freedom Day 2012. The day was held under the theme “Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies: New Voices, Youth and Social Media”. 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman also took part in this event.

“Change in the Arab world has shown the power of aspirations for rights when combined with new and old media. Newfound media freedom is promising to transform societies through greater transparency and accountability. It is opening new ways to communicate and to share information and knowledge. Powerful new voices are rising – especially from young people – where they were silent before,” said the Director-General in a joint message with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. “This is why this year’s World Press Freedom Day is centred on the theme of New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies”.

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