"On this World Press Freedom Day, I urge all Governments, politicians, businesses and citizens to commit to nurturing and protecting an independent, free media. Without this fundamental right, people are less free and less empowered. With it, we can work together for a world of dignity and opportunity for all."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
2016 Theme: Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms - This Is Your Right!
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity to: celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
In 2016, World Press Freedom Day coincides with three important milestones:
- The 250th anniversary of the world’s first freedom of information law, covering both modern-day Sweden and Finland
- The 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration of press freedom principles
- The year 2016 is also the first year of the 15 year life-cycle of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
This year’s WPFD focuses on three different aspects of press freedom:
- freedom of information as a fundamental freedom and as a human right
- protecting press freedom from censorship and surveillance overreach
- ensuring safety for journalism online and offline
Read more about this year's themes in the concept note
UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize
The annual UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize ceremony will take place on 3 May 2016 in Helsinki, Finland. The winner is Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist from Azerbaijan.