UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called on governments to strengthen press freedom and protect journalists as World Press Freedom Day is observed around the globe, today May 3, 2018.

“Promoting a free press is standing up for our right to truth,” he said.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference.

Since then, May 3 is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

Guterres said a free press is essential for peace, justice and human rights for all.

“It is crucial to building transparent and democratic societies and keeping those in power accountable. It is vital for sustainable development,” he said. “Journalists and media workers shine a light on local and global challenges and tell the stories that need to be told. Their service to the public is invaluable.”

He called for laws to protect journalist and freedom of expression.

“Laws that protect independent journalism, freedom of expression and the right to information need to be adopted, implemented and enforced,” Guterres noted. “Crimes against journalists must be prosecuted.”

According to the UN World Press Freedom Day gives an opportunity to:

-celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
-assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
-defend the media from attacks on their independence;
-and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.