UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

05/03/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/03/2021 07:21

World Press Freedom Day

The 2021 Global Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia. It will take place on 29 April - 3 May in Windhoek. The event will be a physical and digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Register now to be part of the regional forums, side events, keynotes, artistic showcases, films screenings and more! Join media leaders, activists, policymakers, media and legal experts, artists and researchers from all over the world.

The Conference will call for urgent attention to the threat of extinction faced by local news media around the world, a crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will put forward ideas to tackle the challenges of our online media environment, push for more transparency of internet companies, strengthen safety of journalists, and improve their working conditions. The Conference will also call to support independent media and empower citizens to face these challenges.

30th Anniversary of Windhoek Declaration

World Press Freedom Day has its origins in a UNESCO conference in Windhoek in 1991. The event ended on 3 May with the adoption of the landmark Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press. After 30 years, the historic connection made between the freedom to seek, impart and receive information and the public good remains as relevant as it was at the time of its signing. Special commemorations of the 30th anniversary are planned to take place during World Press Freedom Day International Conference.

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Regional Forums

This year, the Conference is connecting with the regional World Press Freedom Day celebrations, hosting six Regional Forums to focus on local aspects of press freedom and explore the current trends and challenges. The Forums build upon the historic series of regional seminars triggered by the 1991 seminar in Windhoek, which inspired regional declarations to promote a free, independent, and pluralistic press, after similar seminars held in Alma-Ata (1992), Santiago (1994), Sana'a (1996), and Sofia (1997).

Academic Conference and Youth Newsroom

UNESCO and the University of Namibia (UNAM) are hosting the sixth edition of the Academic Conference on the Safety of Journalists. The Youth Newsroom 2021 edition is being held in partnership with the Namibia University of Science and Technology. Participants will cover the conference mostly virtually and will be able to attend guest speakers' lectures.