Friday, April 30, 2010

World Press Freedom Day 3 May 2010

UNESCO will celebrate World Press Freedom Day, observed yearly on May 3, with an international conference of media professionals entitled Freedom of Information: the Right to Know, in Brisbane on 2 and 3 May. In a message UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said:
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, enshrined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But around the world, there are Governments and those wielding power who find many ways to obstruct it.
This year’s theme is freedom of information: the right to know. I welcome the global trend towards new laws which recognize the universal right to publicly held information.

Unfortunately, these new laws do not always translate into action. Requests for official information are often refused, or delayed, sometimes for years. At times, poor information management is to blame. But all too often, this happens because of a culture of secrecy and a lack of accountability.

We must work to change attitudes and to raise awareness. People have a right to information that affects their lives, and States have a duty to provide this information. Such transparency is essential to good government.

The United Nations stands with persecuted journalists and media professionals everywhere. Today, as every day, I call on Governments, civil society and people around the world to recognize the important work of the media, and to stand up for freedom of information.
The conference programme is available to download here. The conference will be streamed live on the internet -

No comments: