Every year, on May 3, the world community celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, assesses press freedom around the world, calls to protect the media from attacks on their independence and pays tribute to the journalists who died while fulfilling their professional duty.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 in accordance with the recommendation adopted at the 26th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 1991, which, in turn, responded to the appeal of African journalists who in 1991 adopted the historic Windhoek Declaration on promoting independent and pluralistic media.
UNESCO’s mandate is based on freedom of the press and freedom of expression. UNESCO believes that these values are the key to the mutual understanding necessary to build sustainable peace.
World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of citizens about violations of press freedom and recall that in dozens of countries around the world the media are subject to censorship, fines, forced closure or suspension of activities, and journalists, editors and publishers are victims of harassment, assault, illegal arrest and even kills.
This day provides an opportunity to encourage and develop initiatives to protect press freedom and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.
May 3 is a reminder to governments about the need to fulfill their obligation to protect press freedom. On this day, media professionals also reflect on issues related to freedom of the press and professional ethics. Last but not least, this day calls for the support of the media, which are victims of restrictions or imprisonment. This is Memorial Day for journalists killed in the line of duty.