02.05.2017 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

World Press Freedom Day: Critical Minds for Critical Times


02 May 2016 Kabul, Afghanistan | In a two-day conference organized by Afghan Journalists Federation, the Word Press Freedom Day was celebrated on May 2 – 3, 2017. The conference focused on the importance of the freedoms that are essential for justice and peace, safety and security of journalists.

The conference was inaugurated with the speeches from the Chief Executive, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, following the message from Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative to Secretary-General and Ms. Patricia McPhillips, UNESCO Director and Representative to Afghanistan.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in his speech said, “Freedom of expression has a deep relation and a deep root in our Islamic beliefs, as during the era of Prophet Mohammad people were free to express their views. Therefore, freedom of expression cannot be restricted under the name of Islam”.

The UN Special Representative, Mr. Yamamoto said, “progress has been made in Afghanistan even as there has been an erosion of media freedoms in some traditional democracies. “In the region,” he said, “Afghanistan stands out as a leader in openness and creativity.”

The UNESCO DG message was delivered by Patricia McPhillips with the quote “Only the independence, the character, the objectivity and the good judgment of the journalist and the media can overcome the terrible storms of the new world that threaten freedom of information everywhere”.

In her message, Ms. Irina Bokova the UNESCO Director General called everyone to sharpen their minds to defend the freedoms that are essential for justice and peace. The 2017 World Press Freedom Day was celebrated globally with the theme: Critical Minds for Critical Times.

World Press Freedom day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.


Contact: Sayed Habibullah | s.habibullah(at)unesco.org

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