Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ statement on the awarding of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, today:
I congratulate Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. Throughout the world, a free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights — and the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions. No society can be free and fair without journalists who are able to investigate wrongdoing, bring information to citizens, hold leaders accountable and speak truth to power.
Yet anti-media rhetoric — and attacks against media workers — continue to rise. We are seeing growing violence and harassment against journalists, in person and online. Women journalists are often subjected to particular abuse.
At the same time, while technology has transformed the ways in which we receive and share information, it is also used to mislead public opinion or to fuel violence and hatred. Falsehoods trump facts, and this cannot become the new normal. Free and independent journalism is our greatest ally in combating misinformation and disinformation.
As we congratulate the award winners, let us reaffirm the right to press freedom, recognize the fundamental role of journalists and reinforce efforts at every level to support a free, independent and diverse media.