The United Nations has called on all states, societies and individuals to actively defend the freedom of expression and press freedom for its development agendas.
The call was made jointly by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova for World Press Freedom Day 2014 on Saturday.
The theme of this year's press freedom day has been set: “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda.”
“Even as we look beyond 2015, we must confront current grave threats to press freedom around the world,” the duo said in a statement issued to mark the occasion.
“In many countries journalists and other media workers face systematic obstacles to reporting the truth, ranging from censorship to arrests and even assassinations.”
“These outrageous abuses show that press freedom and the human rights it underpins are extremely fragile and must be actively defended,” the statement read.
“On this World Press Freedom Day, we call on all states, societies and individuals to actively defend freedom of expression and press freedom as fundamental rights and as critical contributions to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the post-2015 development agenda.”
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference.
Since then, May 3 has been celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.