"The liberty of a nation is preserved not only by the laws but by public information and knowledge as to how they are being administered."

UNESCO Press Freedom conference in Helsinki in 2016

Published: 29.11.2015

On World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) on the 3 May 2016, UNESCO wants to put a spot light on the importance of freedom of information (FOI) and the need to create a culture of openness and transparency. The global thematic of the WPFD 2016 is “This Is Your Right! Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms.”

"Finland as a supporter of the FOI"

Finland will co-host with UNESCO the international World Press Freedom Day event in 2016. This is the first time the event is held in Scandinavia. "UNESCO wants to put focus on this issue in Finland, as Finland has been one of the strongest supporters of the freedom of information", tells Mr. Ming-Kuok Lim, Program Specialist in the Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development of UNESCO.

Every year, 3 May is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

The international day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.

A new global day for "access to information"

The UNESCO General Conference has decided to designate September 28 as a global day to promote access to information. The day has been celebrated as "Right to Know Day" since 2002 by civil society advocates.

Based on the proposal by some African countries, the UNESCO Executive Board, October 19, supported the idea, and the Communications and Information Commission of UNESCO, November 11, approved a proposal to designate a day, September 28, as International Day for the Universal Access to Information.


Anders Chydenius

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