The Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres has called for a free press across the world to ensure delopment and human rights.
In his message on the occasion of the World Press Freeedom Day, Antonio Guterres said a free press is the cornerstone in building strong institutions.
Read his full message below;
A free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights. No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information. It is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power.
This is especially true during election seasons — the focus of this year’s World Press Freedom Day. Facts, not falsehoods, should guide people as they choose their representatives.
Yet while technology has transformed the ways in which we receive and share information, sometimes it is used to mislead public opinion or to fuel violence and hatred.
Civic space has been shrinking worldwide at an alarming rate with anti media rhetoric on the rise, so too are violence and harassment against journalists including women.
I am deeply troubled by the growing number of attacks and the culture of impunity. According to UNESCO, almost one hundred journalists were killed in 2018, hundreds are imprisoned.
When media workers are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.
On World Press Freedom Day, I call on all to defend the rights of journalists whose efforts help us to build a better world for all.