This year, we
commemorate the 15th World Press Freedom Day whose theme is "Media
and good governance". The annual commemoration of the World Press
Freedom Day is an important occasion for Media professionals who,
for many of them, pay a heavy price while exercising their duty. In
2004 only, 53 journalists were killed, 1146 were mistreated and more
than 600 Medias were censured across the world.
But today's observance
is also a unique opportunity to remind the international community
that freedom of press and freedom of expression are fundamental rights
enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and supported
by the United Nations Charter.
of free and pluralist Media are not only messengers carrying good
and bad news, but they also participate in the diffusion of common
values which enliven life in society.
The theme of
this year underlines the importance of the responsibility of journalists.
Indeed, they have an important role to play in promoting good governance
as essential element for maintaining peace and collective security
and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, in particular the
fight against poverty.
For the press
to carry out its mission with responsibility and professionalism,
Member States of the Organization of the United Nations must promote
freedom of press worldwide, including in areas of conflict.
In a more and
more interdependent world, the upcoming World Summit on the information
society scheduled to be held in Tunis in November 2005 will provide
the international community with the opportunity to renew its commitment
to a freer and more responsible press.