19.02.2009 -

UNESCO publishes outcome of 2008 World Press Freedom Day

UNESCO launches Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People, a compilation of contributions by the participants of the conference held in Maputo, Mozambique, in May 2008, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. A wide variety of authors, from journalists to academics and civil society, express their views on how freedom of information and freedom of expression can help people gain control over their lives.

At the 2008 World Press Freedom Day celebration in Maputo UNESCO explored how both press freedom and freedom of information can feed into the wider objective of empowering people. Representatives of newspapers, civil society and international organizations discussed and declared a number of common principles and guidelines on this subject.


This focus built on an earlier meeting of experts in Paris during 2008, which analysed the link between freedom of information and sustainable development. UNESCO also hosted a lecture series during 2008, on the theme of 'The Potential of Information and Communication Strategy for Development'. All three events are the sources of the content in this publication.


The issues covered in the book are summed up in its title: 'Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People'. Empowerment is a multi-dimensional social and political process that helps people gain control over their own lives. This in turn depends on access to the means to actively communicate, as well as on access to a plurality of information - including that held by the state.


This new publication particularly stresses the role that community media can play in enriching the pluralism of the media scene. It further highlights the importance of the access to information as an inherent part of the freedom of expression and empowerment of people. Annexed to the book is the Maputo Declaration, which was adopted by consensus at the end of the 2008 World Press Freedom Day.


The publication is available online in English: please click <a target="_blank" href="ev.php?URL_ID=28329&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">here</a>.

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