The United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC) in partnership with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) invite you

to a virtual celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2021

Information as a Public Good 

3 May 2021

9:30- 11:30 a.m. EDT


World Press Freedom Day- In 1993, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 3 May as World Press Freedom Day following a recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of the violations of press freedom. It is a reminder that publications and social media are censored, fined, suspended, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked and even killed worldwide. 

This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind. The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting on our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.  




High-level Opening Session 

Video Messages from:






Interactive Civil Society Session


Ramu Damodaran, Chief of the United Nations Academic Impact, Department of Global Communications (DGC) 

Ramu Damodaran is Deputy Director for Partnerships and Public Engagement in the United Nations Department of Public Information’s Outreach Division and is chief of the United Nations Academic Impact initiative, which aligns institutions of higher learning and research with the objectives of the United Nations and the States and peoples who constitute it. He is also the current secretary of the United Nations Committee on Information. His earlier posts with the Organization have included the Departments of Peacekeeping and Special Political Questions, as well as the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.
Ramu Damodaran has been a member of the Indian Foreign Service, where he was promoted to the rank of Ambassador, and where he served as Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister of India as well as in the diplomatic missions in Moscow and to the United Nations, and in a range of national governmental ministries. He has been actively involved in mass media in India, including print, radio and television, and was a recipient of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union award for the best radio documentary.




H.E. Mr. Andrejs Pildegovičs, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia to the United Nations

Andrejs Pildegovičs took up the position of Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York in September 2018. Andrejs Pildegovičs entered diplomatic and consular service in 1994 as Senior Desk Officer at the CIS Division. He later took the posts of Head of the Middle East and Africa Division, Assistant to the State Secretary, and Press Secretary. From 2000 to 2006, Andrejs Pildegovičs was Advisor on Foreign Affairs to the President and from 2006 to 2007, Chief of Staff at the President’s Chancery. Read more





Mr. Alexandre Le Voci Sayad, ZeitGeist, CEO 

Alexandre Le Voci Sayad is a journalist and educator and holds a specialization in Digital Business in University of California / Berkeley.  He is currently general director of ZeitGeist, advisor company in Education and Media, and also a postgraduate researcher on A.I and Education in Pontifical Catholic University in Brazil. He serves as international co-chairman of UNESCO MIl Alliance. Sayad hosts a TV show and a Youtube channel focused on Media and Information Literacy and is also a columnist at A Gazeta do Povo newspaper and Educação magazine. He is author of several books in the MIL field and member of Comunicar Magazine scientific board (Universidad de Huelva, Spain) and Educamídia program in Brazil.


Ms. Julie Posetti, Global Director of Research, International Center for Journalists (ICFJ)

Julie Posetti is an award-winning Australian journalist and academic who is now based in the UK. She leads a major UNESCO-Commissioned global study into online violence against women journalists, and the Journalism and the Pandemic Project (in collaboration with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University). And she is co-author of two books on disinformation, journalism and freedom of expression issues, including Balancing Act: Countering Disinformation While Defending Freedom of Expression (UNESCO 2020) and Journalism, Fake News and Disinformation (UNESCO 2018) Dr. Posetti is academically affiliated with the Centre for Freedom of the Media at the University of Sheffield, and University of Oxford's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.


Ms. Disha Shetty, Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellow

Disha Shetty holds a masters in Science, Environment and Medicine Journalism from Columbia University in New York, a PG Diploma in TV journalism from Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) in Chennai, and a Bachelors in Mass Media (BMM) from SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce affiliated to the Mumbai University. She is the winner of 2018 Global Health Reporting Contest Award, and has been a 2019 RAF fellow to the UN. Disha has also received reporting grants from Pulitzer Center, Earth Journalism Network (EJN) and International Women's Media Fund (IWMF), among others. Her work has appeared in Undark, The Open Notebook, Health Policy Watch, Scroll and IndiaSpend, among others. She's currently also a Forbes Science contributor.