18.04.2013 - Communication & Information Sector

UNESCO launches “Pressing for Freedom: 20 Years of World Press Freedom Day”

On 3 May 2013 UNESCO celebrates the twentieth year of World Press Freedom Day since it was first established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993. To commemorate this significant milestone in the promotion of global freedom of expression and press freedom, UNESCO has published “Pressing for Freedom: 20 Years of World Press Freedom Day”.

For 20 years, 3 May has been a day when the world celebrates freedom of expression and stands together for its protection. This is the spirit of the 1991 Declaration of Windhoek, whose date of adoption, 3 May, was later chosen by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 as the World Press Freedom Day.

A special foreword was jointly penned by current UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova as well as former Directors-General Federico Mayor and Koichiro Matsuura. Together, they have led the creation and development of this flagship event over the past 20 years. From its humble beginning 20 years ago, World Press Freedom Day is now a truly global celebration with events taking place in over 100 different countries annually.

Pressing for Freedom provides an overview of the trajectory of the Day beginning with its foundational years, leading to the period of consolidation where international civil society of press freedom had begun to coalesce, and finally it takes a look into the big issues and challenges that are likely to face press freedom in the future. It includes testimonials from 27 individuals and organizations that have been part of the fight for press freedom. It also includes a special chapter on the UNESCO/ Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize written by Ana Maria Busquets de Cano, President of the Cano Foundation, former Prize Laureates May Chidiac and Monica Gonzalez as well as members of the Jury of the Prize.

This year’s World Press Freedom Day main celebration will take place in San Jose, Costa Rica from 2 to 4 May 2013. The global theme for this year is “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media”, which focuses on safety of journalists, the issue of impunity and digital security. Fourteen panel sessions with over 90 international experts will meet and discuss various issues of press freedom and freedom of expression. Additionally, seven workshops offering practical safety techniques will be available for registered participants of the event.

To register for World Press Freedom Day 2013 event in San Jose, Costa Rica please visit the official website at www.unesco.org/webworld/en/wpfd.

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