1 May 2007
Press Release
Note No. 6079

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents




In observance of World Press Freedom Day, a powerful visual record of the most significant events of 2006 will open in the Main Gallery of the General Assembly Visitors’ Lobby at 6 p.m. on Thursday, 3 May.  This travelling showcase of nearly 200 photographs represents a selection of winning work from the fiftieth annual World Press Photo worldwide photojournalism contest that took place earlier this year in Amsterdam.

Statements at the formal exhibit opening will be made by Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information; Frank Majoor, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations; Matt McDonough, President of TNT Express, North America; Aidan Sullivan, Vice-President of Photo Assignments, Getty Images; and Gerrit Jan Wolffensperger, Chairman, Executive Board of World Press Photo.

Among the winning images featured in the exhibition is the World Press Photo of the Year 2006, a colour image of United States photographer Spencer Platt of Getty Images.  The picture shows a group of young Lebanese driving through a south Beirut neighbourhood devastated by Israeli bombings.  The picture was taken on 15 August 2006, the first day of the ceasefire between Israel and Hizbollah, when thousands of Lebanese started returning to their homes.

In existence for 52 years, the annual World Press Photo contest has become a standard of quality in the industry.  Each year, entries are submitted by photojournalists, agencies, newspapers and magazines from around the world.  This year, more than 4,000 photographers from 124 countries submitted an approximate total of 79,000 images, nearly all of which were supplied in digital format.  Entries were judged by 13 members of an independent international panel.

World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization based in Amsterdam, where it was founded in 1955.  Its aim is to internationally support and promote the work of professional press photographers.  Over the years, World Press Photo has evolved into an independent platform for photojournalism and the free exchange of information.  In order to realize its objectives, World Press Photo organizes the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest.  Educational projects such as seminars and workshops in developing countries and the annual Joop Swart Masterclass also play an important role in World Press Photo’s activities.

The photo exhibit is sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the United Nations, in cooperation with the United Nations Department of Public Information.  World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon and TNT Express.  A selection of winning images is available for publication in the press download area on the World Press Photo website at www.worldpressphoto.nl/downloads.

For more information on United Nations exhibitions, call Jan Arnesen at tel.: 212 963 8531 or Liza Wichmann at tel.: 212 963 0089.

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For information media • not an official record