«The United Nations is marking World Press Freedom Day today with an appeal to all States, societies and individuals to actively defend press freedom as a fundamental right and as a critical contribution to achieving and sustaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This call was made in a joint message by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), who said UN bodies are already working together and with other partners under UNESCO’s leadership to create a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers around the world.
Their message goes on to stress that this year, the international community has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to prepare a long-term agenda for sustainable development to succeed the MDGs when they end in 2015.
«Successfully implementing that agenda will require that all populations enjoy the fundamental rights of freedom of opinion and expression, the officials said, underscoring that those rights are essential to democracy, transparency, accountability and the rule of law. “They are vital for human dignity, social progress and inclusive development.»…»