Press Room

World Press Freedom Day

Type: 
Press release
Date: 
05/03/19

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day, today, May 3rd 2019.

On this occasion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterates the importance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, stressing that press freedom is the guarantee of any functional democracy in which citizens need to be properly and timely informed.

Through this year's theme chosen by the United Nations, Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation, the international community underlines the importance of the media institution in the development of democratic societies.

The crucial role of journalists is to highlight the truth in the face of the assault of misinformation campaigns that jeopardize democratic processes. That is why this year's theme is an alarming signal to identify the current challenges faced by journalists in supporting peace processes, reconciliation and resilience.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs pays tribute to journalists around the world who, despite censorship, repression and manipulation, during peace or war, have taken risks and sometimes even paid for life in an attempt to do their job to inform the public.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs further supported and promoted the freedom of the press, freedom of expression, media pluralism and the protection of journalists, a fact repeated during the mandate of our country at the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Thus, as misinformation has the potential to negatively influence democratic processes, the Council Conclusions on ensuring free and fair European elections were adopted at the EU General Affairs Council meeting on the 19th of February 2019 before the start of the electoral campaign for the European elections that will be held in the Member States on the 23-26th of May.

 

Additional information

May 3rd was declared the World Press Freedom Day on the 23rd of December 1993 by the UN General Assembly following a recommendation adopted at the XXVIth Session of the UNESCO General Conference in 1991. The UN declared the marking of this day to bring to the public attention the importance and the necessity of respecting freedom of expression.

According to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: ‘Everyone has the right of freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to have opinions without interference from the outside, as well as the freedom to seek, receive and disseminate information and ideas by any means and independently of state borders.’

In the context of multilateral diplomacy, the most recent decision in the area of journalists' safety was taken at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Milan on the 7th of December 2018, decision supported by Romania. The OSCE Ministerial Council Decision on the Safety of Journalists can be consulted at https://www.osce.org/chairmanship/406538.