Tunis at the centre of press freedom celebrations
The power of new media to transform societies will be the focus of discussions at an international conference that starts in Tunis this evening to celebrate the 2012 edition of World Press Freedom Day.
A record number of more than 770 participants from 88 countries are attending the event, which will open with the presentation of the UNESCO/ Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to Azerbaijani journalist and human rights militant Eynulla Fatullayev.
The award will be presented by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Tunis. The President of Tunisia, Moncef Marzouki will address the ceremony and United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton will present a message via video.
The theme of this year’s WPFD conference is “New Voices: Media Freedom helping to transform societies”. Over 118 speakers from all regions, including 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakkol Karman (Yemen), celebrated Tunisian blogger Lina Bhen Menni, and Al Jazeera’s New Media Chief Moeed Ahmad, will take part in a rich and varied programme of discussions and debate that begin Friday morning and carry through to Saturday evening.
The conference is organized by UNESCO and the Government of Tunisia, with support from a range of intergovernmental, non-governmental, private sector and media partners.