SEOUL, South Korea-On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, 158 people gathered to commemorate this important date.
HWPL in collaboration with the Permanent Delegation of Suriname to UNESCO and the National Commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo for UNESCO organized a webinar to highlight the need for press freedom in today's society.
This event aimed to propose solutions for improving the safety and working conditions of journalists with the cooperation between civil society, private sectors, and governments. For this, journalists, delegations to UNESCO, former ministers, and representatives of civil society were present.
In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May 3 as World Press Freedom Day.
This proclamation marked the beginning of substantial progress for press freedom and freedom of expression around the world, with the proliferation of independent media in many countries and the rise of digital technologies allowing for the free flow of information online.
This year's celebration of the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day is a call to define press freedom, as well as independent, pluralistic, and diverse media, as a necessary condition for the enjoyment of all other human rights.
This is because unreliable information that has caused racism and hatred has widely spread through the media during the global pandemic.
This commemoration was opened with congratulatory speeches from the co-host countries’ delegations. The media-related workers from Congo, Mali, and the Czech Republic gave topic presentations on the protection of press freedom and the protection of human rights through it and the discussions were followed among presenters and participants.
In his congratulatory speech, His Excellency Mr. Lazare LIEMA IBONGO-BOTIE recalled that UNESCO sensitizes Member States to the need to strengthen standards and policies that promote freedom of expression, press freedom, the safety of journalists, and the right to information.
He also reminded governments of the need to respect their commitments to press freedom.
H.E. Mr. Yaya Sangaré said: "Healthy and independent journalism is vital to any democratic society. This profession comes from the right to have an opinion, to express it, to disseminate it, and to share it freely, as well as the right to seek information and ideas. This is a guarantee of transparency in the exercise of responsibilities in the conduct of public affairs, as well as in the resolution of issues of general interest. It is also what encourages full and complete participation in socio-political life and in the decision-making process, with full knowledge of the facts. This is why the practice of journalism must be secured, in terms of training, working conditions, and protection."
Ms. Severina Papis concluded by saying, "As a peace organization, HWPL hopes to build greater global support for press freedom and encourage journalists to continue their important work in promoting a peaceful and just world. Our organization will strive to work with communities in each country not only for this event but also for the freedom of the press and the respect for other human rights. Especially by activating the MAGP platform, we will try to strengthen a network of journalists and will try to protect numerous other human rights threatened by fake news and content of hate and discrimination.“
MAGP(Media Association for Global Peace) http://magp.org/?ckattempt=1 is an online-based peace platform that spreads the culture of peace and specializes in sharing various types of peace materials including peace news, and information about peace-related events worldwide.
One of MAGP's key objectives is to ensure freedom of information and freedom of the press, as set forth in international agreements, including the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN resolutions, the Windhoek Declaration, UN resolutions, and the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) declared by HWPL.