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IFAP participates in African two-country KFIT needs assessment mission

News - Fri, 13/05/2016 - 15:40

This 3-year extra-budgetary project funded by the Republic of Korea (ROK) through the Korean Funds in Trust (KFIT) facility has allocated some US$6 million to support ICT in education activities across three countries, namely Mozambique, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

In particular, the project will support the development and scaling-up of ICT-enhanced school curricula, strengthen the capacities of teachers to make effective pedagogical use of ICT, support higher education institutions in developing and applying Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and facilitate policy development including the use of the IFAP National Information Society Policy Template.

The team visiting Mozambique and Zimbabwe consisted of Mr. Fengchun Miao, Chief of UNESCO’s ICT in Education Section, Mr. Paul Hector, Progamme Specialist with responsibility for the information for All Programme (IFAP), Mr. Hezekiel Dlamini, Advisor for Communication and Information in the Harare Office and Professor Kyoung Phil Joo, of the Korean National Open University.

The needs assessment mission provided an opportunity to engage with concerned UNESCO Field Offices and National Ministerial Teams who have a key role to play in supporting national ownership and implementation of the project. As part of this process a number of meetings were held with Ministers and senior government officials in key line ministries to clarify national priorities as well as specific institutional mandates and responsibilities. A number of field visits to schools, teacher training institutions, national ICT and community centers were invaluable in providing an understanding of the existing human capacity, technical infrastructure. Focus groups sessions workshops were especially useful in validating and enriching the external team’s findings.

According to Mr. Abdoul Coulibaly, UNESCO Programme Specialist and Focal point for the Zimbabwe project, “the Needs Assessment mission was an opportune time as it allowed the National Team as well as well the UNESCO staff in the field to meet and discuss with actors and beneficiaries of the project, get acquainted with the template and get the necessary guidance toward its finalization.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by his counterpart, Mr. Noel Chicuecue, National Progamme Officer and focal point for the project in UNESCO’s Mozambique Office, who felt that the assessment mission allowed local stakeholders to understand better the goals and focus of the project and provide relevant information on key issues and priority areas for Mozambique. The visit to institutions and partner organizations helped the mission to assess the conditions in which the project will operate” It was a useful exercise for the preparation of workplans by the country project team with technical assistance from the local UNESCO office.”

The mission was therefore successful in contributing to a shared  vision of project priorities and modalities and for surfacing contextual challenges as well as opportunities critical to the project’s success.

The mission also provided an opportunity to meet with the Secretary-Generals of the UNESCO National Commissions in both countries, to support their closer engagement in the KFIT project, to identify national IFAP projects and local IFAP champions. A visit to the national archives in Mozambique provided avenues for collaboration under the IFAP information preservation priority and with UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme.

Over the coming weeks national teams will finalize the draft needs assessment report prepared by the external team and develop detailed national implementation strategies. A regional consultation workshop to support coordination and sharing of experiences between the three national project teams is expected to take place in Harare in mid-May 2016.

The intergovernmental Information for All Programme was established in 2001. It provides a platform for international policy discussions, cooperation and the development of guidelines for action in the area of access to information and knowledge. The Programme supports Member States to develop and implement national information policy and strategy frameworks in the areas of information accessibility, information for development, information ethics, information literacy, information preservation and multilingualism.

Press councils from South East Europe and Turkey discuss the challenges of online journalism at World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Helsinki

News - Fri, 13/05/2016 - 15:30

« In Serbia, the code of ethics has not been adapted to the digital era, yet the press council receives many complaints about online journalism. Most of these complaints deal with copyrights issues and it has become imperative for the press council to address this issue », said Nevena Krivokapić, a member of the Complaints Commission of the Press Council in Serbia.

The situation is quite similar for the other countries of the region. In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 78% of the breach of the code of ethics concerns online media, above all about non-balance reporting, the confusion between facts and comments or hate speech.

While online news sites and online-only media outlets are now members of most press councils in the world, there is no agreement if bloggers should be included in the system of media self-regulation. Debates indicated that divergences of opinions originated from the lack of common understanding on who is a blogger and who should be considered a journalist. Risto Uimonen, former Secretary General of the Finnish Media Council introduced the case of Finland where bloggers have until now been excluded from the media self-regulatory system. Conversely, Flip Voets from the Flemish Press Council explained why this body has adopted a different approach.

In this context, participants of the side-event from South East Europe and Turkey agreed that further discussion on these questions is needed to better understand the concrete implications of these challenges for their work and future. They also expressed the need for sharing best practices.

The side-event was organized by the Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the project “Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey”. Together with other press councils that are partners of the project, it sponsored the trips of participants from the whole region to Helsinki. This event will be followed by a regional training about online media ethics in Sarajevo in June 2016.

Director-General condemns the murder of journalist Khurram Zaki in Pakistan

News - Fri, 13/05/2016 - 10:39

“I condemn the murder of Khurram Zaki,” the Director-General said. “I call on the authorities to bring the perpetrators of this crime to trial, so as to deter others from using violence to stifle freedom of expression and prevent the people of Pakistan from engaging in free and informed debate.”

Khurram Zaki, an outspoken human rights activist and former television news journalist, was the editor of an online webstite, Let us Build Pakistan. He was shot by unidentified assailants.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at), +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”



Rwandan police officers and journalists committed to improve their working relationship

News - Wed, 11/05/2016 - 16:01

The workshop aimed to reinforce support for the citizen’s right to freedom of expression, through strengthening the professional relationship of police officers and journalists, thus promoting and defending safety of journalists. A total of 45 police officers and 30 media practitioners participated in the three-day training, which led to the agreement of developing a code of conduct or operational procedures outlining how the Police and the media can work closely to better serve the public, and to conduct periodic workshops to evaluate progress.

The Rwandan journalists and police officers were trained by Commander Ian Lafrenière from the Montréal Municipal Police Force from Montréal in Canada who is both a serving police officer, as well as an expert in public communications. They shared their experiences in honesty, and explored the role of the Police in improving the safety of journalists, for example by helping them to access essential information, offering practical tools when covering in conflict situations and developing guidelines around covering judicial proceedings.

During the opening session of the workshop, Cleophas Barore, the Acting Chairman of the RMC, highlighted the importance of a professional relationship between the Police and the media. “In a climate where journalists are safe, citizens find it easier to access quality information and it advances other objectives as well: democratic governance and poverty reduction; conservation of the environment; gender equality and the empowerment of women; justice and a culture of human rights, to name a few.”

The essential role of both the Police and the media was further emphasized by Juvenal Marizamunda, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), as they ensure public safety and national development by facilitating public access to accurate information. He described the relationship between the media and the Police as “an important aspect of policing that provides confidence and trust to the public. We definitely play a complementary role. Police being an institution that has constant interactions with the public must be on the forefront to efficiently engage with media without compromising public order.”

Peter Wallet from the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa Antenna in Rwanda, further expounded on this: “Accountable, balanced and unhindered journalism plays a fundamental role in any democracy and ensures that freedom of expression is realized in society.”

This was also reaffirmed by Theos Badege, the Assistant Commisioner of Police, who stressed the commitment of RNP “to work collectively with the media in order to serve the interest of Rwandans.”

The workshop was jointly organized by the Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), UNESCO and the Rwanda National Police, with the support of the Government of Sweden.

UNESCO addresses the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: Universal Access to Knowledge for the Empowerment of Indigenous Peoples

News - Wed, 11/05/2016 - 11:57

UNESCO is convinced that access to information and knowledge is an integral part of the universal rights for the empowerment of all citizens and that it is crucial for upholding sustainable development and democracy. Despite the progress achieved in the facilitation of these rights, there are still many communities around the world, including indigenous ones, which are not able to access on and off-line content, including in their respective languages. Moreover, their exceptionally diverse and abundant documentary heritage is often ignored and barely preserved and shared. Also, exposure of this documentary heritage sometimes happens without taking into consideration the views or the interests of these communities as legitimate rights-holders.

Speaking on two separate items on the Agenda of the UN Forum, Dr. Boyan Radoykov, from UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector, reaffirmed the Organization’s commitment to promote universal access to multilingual information in cyberspace as one of the core aspects of building inclusive knowledge societies and underscored that “ultimately, it is about effectively protecting the invaluable tangible and intangible heritage of our world, which is rich with its multidimensional diversity, with its irreplaceable variety of mixtures of small and large communities and nations, with its constantly innovating know-hows and policies to accumulate and preserve knowledge for the future generations about the past and present traditions, cultures and civilizations”. In this respect, he also referred to UNESCO’s Atlas of Languages in Danger as a global monitoring tool which provides information on the status of linguistic diversity and about the 2,500 languages that are in danger, most of which are spoken by indigenous communities around the world.

Additionally, the side event organized by UNESCO, entitled “Universal Access to Information in Cyberspace for Empowerment of Indigenous Peoples”, addressed digital empowerment of indigenous communities within three thematic focus-areas:

Promotion of indigenous languages in cyberspace

Mr Christopher Moseley, Chief-Editor of the UNESCO’s Atlas of the World Languages in Danger shared concrete examples on how the online tool – UNESCO Atlas of Languages in Danger - contributes to the promotion of universal access to multilingual information by monitoring the status of linguistic diversity at a global level. Reference was also made to UNESCO’s plans to develop a “World Atlas of Languages” and to the continued efforts to implement UNESCO’s normative instrument “Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace” (2003). The outcomes of the Regional Conference for Central America “Multilingualism in cyberspace: Indigenous Languages for Empowerment”, which took place from 27-28 November 2015 in San Jose, Costa Rica, were presented as well to the participants of the session.

Digital preservation of documentary heritage of indigenous communities

UNESCO’s representative, Dr. Radoykov, introduced the normative instrument “Recommendation concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage Including in Digital Form”, recently adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO, which provides a strategic framework for coordinated and sustainable actions for the effective preservation of documentary heritage worldwide.

In the digital preservation field, Mr Paul Trilsbeek, Head The Language Archive, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands, shared information about the “Language Archive” inscription related to the documentary heritage of indigenous communities on the International Registry of the Memory of the World Programme. The nominated heritage offers and preserves a unique sample of the world’s linguistic and cultural diversity. It represents a landmark for language documentation in terms of quality of content and archiving infrastructure.

Ethical dimensions of making information and documentary heritage of indigenous communities accessible to all

Dr. Dick Kawooya, Assistant Professor from School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina, USA addressed the ethical dimensions of making data, information and documentary heritage of indigenous communities accessible in the public domain. Respect of fundamental universal ethical principles, in particular those related to the production of new content, storage, distribution, privacy, access to and use by a global community, was debated and examples of best practices were shared with the participants in the side event.

The event ended with a question-and-answer segment providing opportunity for the audience to react and exchange views with the panelists. 

Access to Scientific Knowledge (A2SK): Lessons learned and the way forward for SDG2030

News - Wed, 11/05/2016 - 11:24

The rapid development of Information and Communication Technologies is not only transforming the way people communicate, learn and interact with each other, but is also providing new possibilities for information gathering and sharing. ICT has also contributed to transform science into science 2.0. From the proliferation of big scientific data, to an increasing shift of basic to applied science, to the increasing popularity of open science, to the use of “virtual” science, and increasing utility of citizen science have all comprehensively changed how science currently works and delivers its outputs to advance humanity. These fast but profound transformations are impacting both scientific community as well as the public as these have given rise to new research questions, tools, terminologies, processes and products.

The panel noted that access to Scientific Information needs to be examined differently as the process to achieve at least ten sustainable development goals would depend on continuous scientific knowledge feed. Amidst the changing context, stakeholders would have to examine the entire ecosystem of Access to Scientific Knowledge (A2SK) differently.  From the context of achieving climate resilience to creating a condition for food and water security, much would depend on how information or the processed knowledge would be transacted between and among stakeholders. This shift would not only have to be realized in how the knowledge torch bearers would inform the affected public, but how general public be involved in the whole process. Panelists asserted a pressing need to analyze the changing context of the use of ICTs – defined in terms of tools, content and processes. The panel discussed several issues and concluded the following:

  1. The existing policy lacunae needs to be abridged with inclusive policy development dialogues backed with policy formulation exercises and time-bound monitoring and follow-up agenda.
  2. Regional collaborations are essential to localize efforts and to create conditions for north-south and south-south collaboration.
  3. There is an urgent need for the development of infrastructure and/ or enhancing capacities to utilize existing infrastructure. 
  4. Capacity enhancements are needed at all levels.  It is essential to innovate approaches to build capacities at the policy levels, which must include ability to take stock, follow up, and monitor efforts made on the ground.
  5. International community must increase their development assistance to enhance A2SK and leverage enough funding to implement efforts to achieve WSIS goals.
  6. There is a need to reduce north-south and south-south divide in approaches to develop science and access to science.
  7. Generate benchmarks and monitoring mechanism for openness and inclusiveness of the entire ecosystem of scientific knowledge.
  8. There is a need to appreciate the role of citizen during SDG 2030. It is essential to appreciate the fact that citizen around the world are increasingly becoming equipped with ICT devices.  It will be very useful to tap on to this new connectedness. In this context, it is important that appropriate tools and processes are established to mainstreamed information thus transacted and recognize its value within the broader context of A2SK.
  9. Despite many efforts to improve access, it is essential to appreciate that there is a disparity in openness between and among developed and developing countries. This needs to be observed both from the perspectives of Openness and Inclusiveness It is imperative to realize that to create science the cost related to openness must be borne by someone. 

There are some tell-tell sign that increasingly the disparity is now changed from the erstwhile “ability to access” to now “ability to share” knowledge?
The panel suggested undertaking an iterative set of inquiries to the larger community to understand what tools are readily available and what needs to be developed. Noting the need to increase Promptness, Openness and Inclusiveness in knowledge transaction as the world’s ability to achieve SDGs, panel suggested the following agenda for the implementation of WSIS Action lines beyond 2015:

  • Undertaking a collaborative assessment on Access to information and knowledge across SDGs
  • Assessment of available tools for SDG relevant decision making
  • Identifying the needs and the gaps for decision making
  • Enabling development of tools, processes and contents that help bridge the gap between the needs and available science
  • Developing means to pathways between data and knowledge
  • Improving monitoring capability for A2SK towards SDG milestones
  • Forging holistic mechanism for enabling Open data, Open Access and Open Processes and their application for SDGs
  • Since Global experiences have helped in creating best practices, create mechanisms for accessing the knowledge and the expertise
  • Developing collaborating mechanisms at various levels for leveraging funds for A2SK

The panel involved Honorable Minister for Telecommunication and Media, Burundi, Dr Yolanda Martinez,  Government of Mexico, Dr Indrajit Banerjee, UNESCO, Paris, France, Dr Jens Vigen,  CERN, Switzerland, Dr Simon Hudson,  ICSU/CODATA, France, Professor  Pradeep Mujumdar Indian Institute of Science, India, Dr Medha Devare, CGIAR Consortium, France and  Professor Dev Niyogi, Purdue University, USA was moderated by Dr Bhanu Neupane of KSD/UNESCO.

UNESCO’s Research Conference on the Safety of Journalists paved the way for academic research cooperation - Knowledge is the Key

News - Wed, 11/05/2016 - 11:10

The conference brought together more than 50 academics from six continents, and was held in partnership with the University of Sheffield (Centre for Freedom of the Media), University of Tampere, University of Helsinki, and the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

Participants shared an understanding that journalists are severely threatened around the world, while an environment in which free and independent journalism can safely proceed is a necessary precondition to expose injustice, corruption and other non-civil processes.

In this context, there was widespread agreement that academic inquiry can contribute to the creation of such safe conditions.

Altogether 30 individual studies were presented during the conference, covering more than 20 countries in the world, and discussing a great variety of topics related to the safety of journalists. These included the threats journalists are facing in various conflict and non-conflict countries, online and offline, or when working for specific beats; in addition to the psychological and other consequences of the threats. The studies also analysed the protection frameworks in place for journalists.

A key-note speech Journalist Killings and the Civil Sphere by Professor Simon Cottle, University of Cardiff, highlighted a need to reconceptualise journalists as actors in the real-life ‘civil sphere’. This, he argued, could help understand why they carry on their work despite the harmful and dangerous circumstances, and why they must be able to work safely.

In addition, two panel discussions addressed the need for research-based knowledge in improving the safety of journalists, the future research areas as well as academic collaboration.

The conference underlined the need for both empirical, evidence-based knowledge and theoretically oriented, deep-going contextual understanding about the safety challenges and the underlying cause factors. This involves the creation of multi-disciplinary, transnational and critical research approaches.

The safety issues should be an inherent part of journalism education, it was argued. A call for more research cooperation was also expressed.

To advance such co-operation, CFOM announced the launch of a research network on the safety of journalists with support of UNESCO. The network will be based on CFOM’s website, and it is soon inviting scholars to sign in for future academic networking and collaboration in the area.

The Helsinki conference outcomes will be published in 2017 in a conference book by the UNESCO Chair at the University of Gothenburg, Nordicom and UNESCO. The next research panel on the safety of journalists, continuing the discussions on the topic, will be organised by UNESCO in cooperation with IAMCR during the 2016 IAMCR conference taking place in Leicester, 27-31 July.

UNESCO promoted free, independent and plural media in digital age as a crucial task to achieving SDGs at WSIS Forum 2016

News - Tue, 10/05/2016 - 15:36

This was the strong message delivered by the participants of the 11th facilitation meeting of WSIS Action Line C9 media, as convened by UNESCO at WSIS Forum 2016, 4th May.

Panelists and participants highlighted the relevance of post-2015 WSIS Outcome Document for an expanded vision of media-related issues.

They also explored the challenges to operationalize the two indicators for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target 16.10 as jointly proposed by UNESCO, World Bank, OHCHR, ILO and GFMD:

  • 16.10.1 Number of verified cases of killing, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and torture of journalists, associated media personnel, trade unionists and human rights advocates in the previous 12 months.
  • 16.10.2 Number of countries that adopt and implement constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information.
  • The participants recognized great significance of having these two indicators which various actors can use to understand, monitor and report on the SDG 16.10.

Participants also agreed that WSIS Action Line C9 “media” plays a crucial role in advancing all SDGs.

They underlined that without free, independent and plural media, online and offline, government and citizens would not be informed on crucial development issues. Without monitoring daily developments related to SDGs, not a single SDG would be achieved, it was argued.

Platforms as social media and tools like big data could all contribute to the measuring, monitoring and implementing the SDGs.

On the indicator of safety of journalists, the challenge for implementation is to achieve protection for whistle blowers, bloggers and freelancers, and to get data on this.

On the indicator of access to information, the issues discussed covered open government, open data, big data, intermediaries’ liability, quality journalism and investigative journalism, as well as social media and citizen journalism.

Envisioning the implementation of Action Line C9 media in post-2015 phase, participants noted key challenges on protecting safety of women journalists, corporate media concentration, and national security laws' impacting freedom of expression.

The importance of privacy and encryption, journalism education and media and information literacy was also signaled.

Participants said it remained a crucial task for Action Line C9 “media” to further explore an integrated approach to maximize media’s significance for sustainable development.

This could contribute towards formulating media law and regulatory frameworks which enable free, independent and pluralistic media, online and offline, in the digital age.

The meeting program is available at the link:

UNESCO’s stresses the need for innovations in the WSIS implementation at CSTD high-level roundtable

News - Tue, 10/05/2016 - 14:59

At CSTD’s high-level roundtable on the “Review of progress made in the implementation of WSIS outcomes”, the Director of UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division, Dr Indrajit Banerjee, stressed that business as usual will not suffice to shift the WSIS Action Line implementation towards the SDGs. UNESCO with its very large mandate across many of the SDGs and Action Lines has started to explore innovations in the implementation of the next WSIS decade.  All of the WSIS Forum Action Line meetings UNESCO organized had, for example, an explicit reference to the SDG implementation.

Most of the sessions brought different Action Lines together to address in an interdisciplinary and inter-ActionLine manner sustainable development challenges. Dr Banerjee also underlined that UNESCO is the rotating chair of the United Nations Group  on the Information Society, UNGIS, and together with all other UN partners agencies, UNESCO will ensure greater linkages between WSIS implementation and the SDGs. Another example of the new orientation towards the SDGs is the Broadband Commission work, co-vice-chaired by ITU and UNESCO, which also just underwent a re-orientation towards the SDGs.

Knowledge Societies by 2030, or even by the next WSIS+20 Review in 2025, will, however, be radically different from the societies we know today, with –variations between countries and communities- but generally a steep increase of datafication, a widespread deployment of Internet-of-Things devices, algorithmic decision-making and expanding deployment of artificial intelligence.  This has profound implications for socio-cultural and economic structures, and for rights, with transformations of work and private lives, and implications for access to information and knowledge, for privacy, freedom of expression and other Human Rights, which need to be addressed already now.

This week, the Commission on Science and Technology for Development will also draft, agree on and recommend for adoption of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) a resolution on the “Assessment of the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society”.

For more information, please find CSTD meeting documents on UNCTAD’s website:

La Directrice générale de l’UNESCO Irina Bokova et la journaliste Christiane Amanpour expriment leur soutien à la lauréate du Prix mondial de la liberté de la presse UNESCO/Guillermo Cano, Khadija Ismayilova

Actualités - Tue, 10/05/2016 - 11:21

La plus grande conférence jamais organisée a réuni 1100 experts, responsables et journalistes du monde entier pour défendre la liberté d’expression et la liberté de la presse.

A cette occasion, le Prix mondial de la liberté de la presse UNESCO/Guillermo Cano 2016 a été décerné à Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaïdjan), emprisonnée depuis 2014. Créé en 1997 par le Conseil exécutif de l'UNESCO, ce Prix est destiné à distinguer une personne, une organisation ou une institution qui a contribué, de manière notable, à la défense et/ou à la promotion de la liberté de la presse où que ce soit dans le monde, surtout si pour cela elle a pris des risques.

Dans le passé, lorsque le Prix mondial de la liberté de la presse UNESCO/Guillermo Cano a été remis à un journaliste emprisonné, le soutien de l’UNESCO et la visibilité liée au Prix ont toujours favorisé sa libération. Ce fut le cas de Mazen Darwish, Président du centre syrien pour les médias et la liberté d’expression, lauréat du Prix en 2015, qui a été libéré et a pu assister à la conférence organisée à Helsinki.

Dans cet esprit, Irina Bokova et Christiane Amanpour ont de nouveau appelé le gouvernement et les autorités d’Azerbaïdjan à la libération immédiate de Khadija Ismayilova.

La Directora General Irina Bokova, y Christiane Amanpour defienden la labor de Khadiha Ismayilova, ganadora del premio mundial UNESCO/Guillermo Cano de Libertad de Prensa

Noticias - Tue, 10/05/2016 - 11:04

El evento reunió a cerca de 1.100 expertos, autoridades y periodistas de todo el mundo en defensa de la libertad de expresión y la libertad de prensa.

Este año, la premiada con el galardón UNESCO/Guillermo Cano de Libertad de Prensa fue la periodista azerbaiyana Khadija Ismayilova, presa desde 2014. Creado por la UNESCO en 1997, este premio honra a una persona, organización o institución que ha hecho una contribución sobresaliente a la defensa y/o promoción de la libertad de prensa en todo el mundo, en particular si ha supuesto algún peligro.

En anteriores ocasiones, cuando el Premio UNESCO/Guillermo Cano de Libertad de Prensa ha sido concedido a un periodista encarcelado, la visibilidad y el apoyo ofrecidos por la UNESCO han contribuido siempre a conseguir su liberación. Es el caso del ganador anterior, el periodista Mazen Darwish, Presidente del Centro Sirio de Medios y Libertad de Expresión, galardonado en 2015 y ahora en libertad. Darwish estuvo presente en la conferencia en Helsinki.

Con la misma voluntad, Irina Bokova, y Christiane Amanpour repiten su llamamiento al Gobierno y las autoridades de Azerbaiyán para la inmediata liberación de prisión de Khadija Ismayilova.

Director-General Irina Bokova and Christiane Amanpour speak out for UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize Laureate, Ms Khadija Ismayilova

News - Tue, 10/05/2016 - 10:37

This largest ever International Conference brought together 1,100 experts, officials and journalists from across the world, to stand together for freedom of expression and press freedom. 

On this occasion, the 2016 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was awarded to Ms Khadija Ismayilova, from Azerbaijan, jailed since 2014. Created by UNESCO in 1997, this prize honors a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defense and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, and especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger. 

When the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize has previously been given to a journalist in prison, the high visibility and support provided by UNESCO have always brought about their release. This was the case for the previous winner Mr Mazen Darwish, President of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, 2015 Prize Laureate, now released and who was able to attend the conference in Helsinki. 

In this spirit, Irina Bokova and Christiane Amanpour hereby repeat their call to the Government and authorities of Azerbaijan for the immediate release of Ms Khadija Ismayilova from prison.

Joint COAR-UNESCO Statement on Open Access

News - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 17:04

This statement highlights a number of issues that need to be addressed by organizations during the large-scale shift from subscription-based to Open access mode of publishing:

  • Consider institutions with smaller budgets and developing countries. Authors will be unable to publish once limited funds have been exhausted. Such a system will need to support researchers who cannot pay APCs – to avoid further skewing a scholarly publishing system that is already biased against the research undertaken in certain disciplines and countries.
  • Avoid further concentration in the international publishing industry. A flip to APCs will further consolidate the large-scale monopoly of the international publishing industry. In the current system, the five largest publishers publish over 50% of the research papers produced. A mere shift towards the pay-to-publish model will institutionalize the influence of these companies, and discourage new entrants and models other than APC models.
  • Explore ways to reduce costs. Recent studies indicate that, at current APC costs, there would be a buffer of minimum 40% when subscriptions would be transferred to an open access model. New models should build in mechanisms that ensure cost reductions. Globally, we are already paying billions of Euros/Dollars per year on subscription access to journals. Simply shifting payments to support APCs may lead to higher systemic costs, curb innovation, and inhibit the scholarly community’s ability to take advantage of new models and tools.

UNESCO promotes Open Access (OA), with particular emphasis on scientific information (journal articles, conference papers and datasets of various kinds) emanating from publicly funded research. Working with partners, UNESCO works to improve awareness about the benefits of OA among policy makers, researchers and knowledge managers. Through its global network of Field OfficesInstitutes and Centers, UNESCO facilitates the development and adoption of OA-enabling policies. In addition, UNESCO engages in global OA debates and cooperates with local, regional and global initiatives in support of OA.

Realizing SDG16 through peaceful and inclusive Knowledge Societies

News - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 16:52

SDG16 is focused on “promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. The targets under this goal include issues ranging from prevention of violence, child trafficking and torture, to ensuring access to information and protecting fundamental freedoms to building institutions for effective governance. This makes SDG16 an especially complex goal and one where multi-disciplinary lenses are essential to finding durable solutions.

The event used an innovative structure built around 4 sessions. The first session featured Dr Indrajit Banerjee, Director of UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division and Dr Tomasz Janowski, Head and Founder of the United Nations University’s Special Operating Unit on Policy-driven Electronic Governance. This high-level session served to set the stage and underscored the contribution of UNESCO’s knowledge societies concept and Next Generation Digital Government to the realization of SDG16.

The two sessions that followed the opening took the form of an interactive roundtable debate between expert panelists and the audience.

The first roundtable which focused on fighting youth radicalization and preventing violent extremism on the Internet, was moderated by Dr Boyan Radoykov, Chief of UNESCO’s Section for Universal Access and Preservation.  According to Dr Radoykov, “both the exchange of global experiences and focused research is urgently needed to better understand the role of digital technologies in the process of radicalization and the prevention of violent extremism. Only with this knowledge can effective policies and strategies be designed and implemented”.

Session panelists Ms. Darice Rusagara, Adviser to the Pan-African Youth Network on the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP), Mr Tim Francis, Associate Programme Specialist, in UNESCO’s section for Media and Society, and Dr. John Crowley, Chief of Section for Research, Policy and Foresight in UNESCO's Sector for Social and Human Sciences drew attention to ongoing youth-focused and youth-led regional and international initiatives in the areas of digital arts, social media and policy which were providing new insights and lessons. 

The second roundtable chaired by Dr Janowski focused on how the protection of fundamental freedoms and the promotion of a diversity of cultural expressions could enable peaceful and inclusive knowledge societies. In opening the session, Dr Janowski invited panelist to reflect on how “social media could include the excluded and overcome the challenges facing marginalized communities”. The lively panel debate revealed the interdependent roles of infrastructure, user awareness and empowerment, as well as relevant content, in overcoming exclusion.

Mr. Francois Marien, speaking from the perspective of persons with disabilities, pointed to the lack of awareness amongst small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of ICT-based solutions and various government assistance programmes.  These SMEs though willing to hire persons with disabilities were under the mistaken impression that accommodations would be too costly. Nicolas Seidler, Policy Director for the Internet Society, pointed to countries where despite over 90% coverage by Internet, uptake of this service was low due to the lack of relevant local content. Ms. Dragana Korljan, Human Rights Officer in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) shed light on the how ICTs as a channel for wider artistic freedom and expression could enhance access to and the enjoyment of culture, and also foster intercultural dialogue. Mr. Paul Blaker, Head of International Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the United Kingdom recognized the important role of ICT in realizing people’s aspirations and creating new opportunities for participation and interaction between local government and citizens and the prospect of supporting debates on global governance. However, he also underscored the need to reflect on and address emerging challenges such as machine to machine interactions and the broader use of ICT in newly emerging fields.

The final session focused on matchmaking – stimulating collaboration between the experts and institutions – with various UNESCO programmes and activities. Initiatives highlighted included the international conference “Internet and the radicalization of youth: preventing, acting and living together”, that will be held on 31 October and 1 November 2016, in Québec City, Canada; the intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP); as well as various youth in heritage volunteer programmes led by UNESCO’s World Heritage Programme. This led to more than 10 institutions (including governmental, intergovernmental, research, academic, thinks-tanks, and civil society organizations) expressing interest in cooperation with UNESCO to advance the objectives of the WSIS Action Lines and the SDGs.

La Conferencia del Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa adopta una Declaración sobre la libertad de prensa, el acceso a la información y la diversidad cultural

Noticias - Fri, 06/05/2016 - 14:27

Más de 1000 profesionales de los medios y las partes interesadas, incluidos representantes de los gobiernos pidieron a los 195 Estados Miembros de la UNESCO "reafirmar que la libertad de prensa y el derecho a la información son esenciales para la libertad,  los medios de comunicación independientes y pluralistas son cruciales para el avance de los derechos humanos y el desarrollo sostenible”.

En consonancia con los nuevos Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible establecidos por las Naciones Unidas para los próximos 15 años, la Declaración de Finlandia hace hincapié en la importancia del acceso a la información y la responsabilidad de los Estados de proveer información pública, tanto en línea como por medios tradicionales, así como promover el acceso universal a internet.

También, insta a los Estados a garantizar la seguridad de los periodistas, cuya vulnerabilidad a los ataques violentos socava la libertad de prensa y la libertad de información en muchas partes del mundo.

La Declaración reconoce además, la relevancia de la Convención de 2005 de la UNESCO sobre la Protección y la Promoción de la Diversidad de las Expresiones Culturales, la libertad artística y la diversidad cultural para el ejercicio de la libertad de expresión como derecho humano fundamental.

Los participantes del principal evento del Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa, organizado por la UNESCO y Finlandia, alabaron decisión del Consejo Ejecutivo de la UNESCO para celebrar el Día Internacional para el Acceso Universal a la Información el 28 de septiembre de cada año.

Durante los dos días de conferencia, la Directora General de la UNESCO, Irina Bokova, el Primer Ministro de Finlandia, Juha Sipilä y el presidente del país anfitrión, Sauli Niinistö, destacó la importancia fundamental de la libertad de prensa y la libertad de información para un desarrollo sostenible, un  buen gobierno y como una base para todas las libertades.

El ex presidente de Finlandia y ganador del Premio por la paz Félix Houphouët-Boigny en 2007 y el Premio Nobel de la Paz en 2008, Marti Ahtisaari, señaló en su discurso de clausura la conexión entre la libertad de prensa y la construcción de la paz.

La celebración del Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa 2016 tuvo el apoyo de unas 50 organizaciones pertenecientes a la sociedad civil y medios de comunicación públicos. Cerca de 100 eventos se han celebrado alrededor del mundo este año con el motivo del Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa.


Para los medios:

Dossier de prensa: (en inglés)


UNESCO: Roni Amelan: +33(0)7 86 43 58 76


Une Déclaration pour la liberté de la presse, l’accès à l’information et la diversité culturelle adoptée lors de la Conférence pour la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse

Actualités - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 20:13

Plus d’un millier de professionnels des médias et parties concernées, dont des représentants de gouvernements, ont prié les 195 Etats membres de l’UNESCO de « réaffirmer que la liberté de la presse et le droit à l’information sont essentiels pour des médias libres, indépendants et pluralistes et crucial pour la promotion des droits de l’homme et le développement durable ».

Avec les nouveaux Objectifs de développement durable définis par les Nations unies pour les 15 prochaines années en point de mire, la Finlandia Declaration, réaffirme l’importance de l’accès à l’information et la responsabilité des Etats à rendre les informations disponibles en ligne et hors ligne ainsi qu’à promouvoir l’accès universel à Internet.

Elle demande également aux Etats d’assurer la sécurité des journalistes, dont l’exposition à de violentes attaques compromet la liberté de la presse et la liberté d’information dans de nombreuses parties du monde.

La Déclaration reconnait par ailleurs l’importance de la Convention de 2005 de l’UNESCO sur la protection et la promotion de la diversité des expressions culturelles, de la liberté artistique et de la diversité culturelle dans l'exercice des droits humains fondamentaux et de la liberté d’expression.

Les participants à cet événement clé de la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse 2016, organisé par l’UNESCO et la Finlande, ont applaudi la décision du Conseil exécutif de l’UNESCO d’organiser une Journée internationale pour l'accès universel à l'information qui sera célébrée chaque année le 28 septembre.

Au cours de ces deux jours de conférence, la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO, Irina Bokova, le Premier ministre de la Finlande, Juha Sipilä ainsi que le Président du pays hôte, Sauli Niinistö ont insisté sur l’importance primordiale de la liberté de la presse et de la liberté d’information pour un développement durable, une bonne gouvernance et comme élément de base pour toutes les libertés.

L’ancien Président finlandais et lauréat du prix UNESCO Félix Houphouët-Boigny 2007 et du Prix Nobel pour la paix 2008, Marti Ahtisaari a aussi souligné, durant la cérémonie de clôture, l’importance du lien entre la liberté d’expression et la consolidation de la paix.

La célébration de la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse 2016 a bénéficié du soutien d’une cinquantaine d’organisations de la société civile et de médias. Une centaine d’événements ont été organisés dans le monde autour de cette journée cette année.



Kit pour la presse:

Contacts :

UNESCO: Roni Amelan: +33(0)7 86 43 58 76

Ministère finlandais des Affaires étrangères : Mari Lankinen, mari.lankinen(at), +358 (0)295 350 642

Ministère finlandais de l’éducation et de la culture : Heidi Mäenpää,, +358 2953 30230

World Press Freedom Day conference adopts Declaration on press freedom, access to information and cultural diversity

News - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 14:59

More than 1000 media practitioners and stake holders, including representatives of governments called on UNESCO’s 195 Member States to “reaffirm that press freedom and the right to information are essential for a free, independent and pluralistic media and crucial to the advancement of human rights and sustainable development.”

In keeping with the new Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations for the next 15 years, the Finlandia Declaration stresses the importance of access to information and the responsibility of states in making public information available both on and off-line, and promoting universal access to the internet.

It also calls on states to ensure the safety of journalists, whose vulnerability to violent attacks undermines press freedom and freedom of information in many parts of the world.

The Declaration furthermore recognizes the pertinence of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection of and Promotion of the Divesity of Cultural Expression, artistic freedom and cultural diversity to the exercise of the fundamental human right of freedom of expression.

Participants at this year’s main World Press Freedom Day event, organized by UNESCO and Finland, lauded UNESCO’s Executive Board decision to celebrate an International Day for Universal Access to Information on 28 September every year.

During the two-day conference, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the Prime Minister of Finland, Juha Sipilä and the host country’s President, Sauli Niinistö, highlighted the paramount importance of press freedom and freedom of information for sustainable development, good governance and a basis for all freedoms.

Former President of Finland and recipient of the UNESCO Félix Houphouët-Boigny peace prize in 2007 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008, Marti Ahtisaari, also spoke of the link between press freedom and peace building during his address to participants at the close of the event.

The celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2016 drew the support of some 50 civil society and media organizations. Some 100 World Press Freedom Day events have been organized around the world this year.


Press kit:


UNESCO: Roni Amelan: +33(0)7 86 43 58 76

Irina Bokova meets President of Finland H.E. Sauli Niinistö

News - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 14:47

The meeting was held on the occasion of the flagship International Conference of World Press Freedom Day, organized in partnership with the Government of Finland in Helsinki.

Irina Bokova thanked the President for the support of the Government of Finland to UNESCO’s action across the world, with a special focus on defending freedom of expression and freedom of information and on enhancing the safety of journalists. She underlined the importance of the 250th anniversary of the world's first Freedom of information law.

“This champion support is embodied in UNESCO’s ground-breaking project, supported by Finland, on ‘Promoting Freedom of Expression in Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen,’ as well as in Finland’s support to building education capacity, which I saw for myself ten days ago in Nepal,” said Irina Bokova.

The Government of Finland provides support to UNESCO through the Capacity Development for Education for All Programme (CapEFA), with a focus on TVET, gender equality and girl’s education.  Finland also supports the work of the UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication.

"I am deeply grateful for Finland's champion leadership in UNESCO and look forward to deepening this ever more, to take forward the 2030 Agenda," said Irina Bokova to the President.

On the same day, the Director-General was honoured to meet with the Prime Minister of Finland, Mr. Juha Sipilä. 

This was an opportunity to discuss the power of education for more inclusive and sustainable development -- as well as in emergencies, to provide skills, and opportunities for youth engagement, notably for Syrian refugees.

Discussion followed on implementing the 2030 Agenda, with the Prime Minister focusing on the importance of  an all-society approach. Irina Bokova thanked the Prime Minister for the depth of Finland's support.

Irina Bokova also had the opportunity to meet with the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Ms Lenita Toivakka, the Minister of Education and Culture, Ms. Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Ms Anne Berner, as well as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Timo Soini.

The meeting with the Minister of Education and Culture, Ms Grahn-Laasonen, provided a moment to discuss cooperation between Finland and UNESCO in advancing a holistic approach to education in order to advance the 2030 Agenda. 

 Irina Bokova welcomed the meeting with Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, Ms Lenita Toivakka‎, for the overall range of the partnership between Finland and UNESCO. The Minister reviewed the priority importance of education for the success of the 2030 Agenda, with a focus on gender equality. The Director-General explored the contribution UNESCO is leading across its mandate, from education to sustainable water management and freedom of expression. She underlined the importance of new partnerships, including with the private sector, and the focus on capacity building for more inclusive and sustainable development.

The‎ Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Timo Soini, underlined the importance of UNESCO, pointing to Finland as a "long term friend" of the Organisation. Irina Bokova presented the actions taken by UNESCO across its mandate, notably in advancing education to prevent violent extremism, and to prevent youth radicalisation. She spoke also of UNESCO's leadership in safeguarding humanity's cultural heriatge and diversity, especially in the fight against the trafficking of cultural goods. Discussion followed on Global Priority Gender Equality, and the importance of girls' education, especially adolescent girls, as well as the key role of women in conflict mediation and reconciliation.

L’accès à l’information, la liberté et la sécurité des journalistes au cœur de la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse 2016

Actualités - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 09:46

Les intervenants ont célébré le 250e anniversaire de la première législation au monde sur la liberté d’expression et la liberté d’information, promulguée ce qui est aujourd’hui la Finlande et la Suède en 1766. Ils ont aussi évoqué le 25e anniversaire de la Déclaration de Windhoek, adoptée dans la capitale namibienne en 1991, et qui est à l’origine de la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse.

La cérémonie d’ouverture s’est terminée par un message de Gwen Lister, fondatrice du journal The Namibian, et co-présidente de la conférence sur la liberté, le pluralisme et l’indépendance des médias, organisée par l’UNESCO à Windhoek en 1991. Lors de son discours, Gwen Lister a rendu compte des progrès réalisés par les médias africains depuis la Déclaration de Windhoek et a évoqué les inégalités du paysage médiatique africain ainsi que les difficultés auxquelles le continent est confronté.

La Directrice générale de l’UNESCO a décrit cette Journée comme « l’un des moments les plus enthousiasmants du calendrier mondial. C’est l’occasion de célébrer la liberté de chaque femme et de chaque homme à s’exprimer. C’est l’occasion de mettre en lumière le droit à l’accès et au partage de l’information. C’est l’occasion de se tenir aux côtés des journalistes et de défendre leur sécurité ».

Irina Bokova a poursuivi en décrivant 2016 comme un tournant pour la liberté de la presse dans la mesure où c’est « la première année de mise en œuvre de l’Agenda 2030 pour le développement durable ». Cet agenda, a-t-elle rappelé, comprend l’objectif 16 qui vise à promouvoir des sociétés pacifiques et inclusives pour le développement durable.

La Directrice générale a qualifié d’intolérable le fait que 825 journalistes aient perdu la vie dans l’exercice de leur fonction au cours de cette dernière décennie. Elle a aussi exprimé son indignation que moins de 6% de ces meurtres aient été résolus. « Je réagis chaque fois qu'un journaliste est tué et insiste pour que justice soit rendue » a-t-elle déclaré. « Je demande aujourd'hui à chaque gouvernement, de répondre aux demandes d'information sur le suivi judiciaire. [...] Nous devons défendre les libertés fondamentales en ligne et hors ligne. L'UNESCO s’efforce de promouvoir Internet comme une plateforme s’appuyant sur des droits, ouverte, accessible et pilotée par de multiples acteurs », a-t-elle ajouté.

Lors de son allocution de bienvenue, le premier ministre finlandais, Juha Sipilä, a souligné l’importance pour la Finlande d'accueillir la Journée mondiale de la liberté de presse et déclaré qu’ « en raison du lien étroit entre la liberté d'expression, la liberté de la presse et de la démocratie, cet événement est également lié au 100e anniversaire de l’indépendance de la Finlande qui sera célébré l’année prochaine ».

Le Président finlandais et la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO ont présidé la cérémonie de remise du prix UNESCO/Guillermo Cano de la liberté de la presse qui a été décerné à la journaliste indépendante azerbaidjanaise, Khadija Ismailova. Le Président a aussi rappelé les principes du prix.

« Le Prix mondial de la liberté de la presse UNESCO/Guillermo Cano annuel est destiné à distinguer une personne, une organisation ou une institution qui a contribué, de manière notable, à la défense et/ou à la promotion de la liberté de la presse où que ce soit dans le monde, surtout si pour cela elle a pris des risques », a-t-il déclaré « Cette année le prix a été remis à Khadija Ismayilova, journaliste indépendante au service azerbaïdjanais de Radio Free Europe. Je regrette profondément qu’elle ne soit pas parmi nous aujourd’hui mais en prison ».

La Directrice générale de l’UNESCO a félicité Khadija Ismayilova pour son engagement sans faille en faveur des droits de l'homme et des libertés fondamentales. « C’est pour cela que le prix de la liberté de la presse UNESCO / Guillermo Cano 2016 est décerné à Khadija Ismayilova sur recommandation d’un jury international ».

Elmira Ismayilova, la mère de la lauréate, a lu un message de sa fille dans lequel elle dénonce la violence endurée par les journalistes dans le cadre de leur fonction et les encourage à continuer. « Défendez la vérité, osez poser des questions et ayez une réflexion critique. N’acceptez aucune excuse pour les prisonniers politiques. Une société ne peut aller de l’avant sans droit de regard ni critique publique. L’opposition n’a pas sa place en prison. Luttez contre la corruption et exigez l’intégrité et l’Etat de droit de vos gouvernements et de vos alliés ».

Doté d’un montant de 25 000 dollars, le Prix a été créé en l’honneur de Guillermo Cano Isaza, journaliste colombien assassiné à l’entrée des bureaux du journal, El Espectador, à Bogotá, le 17 décembre 1986. Il est financé par la Fondation Cano (Colombie) et la Fondation Helsingin Sanomat (Finlande).

La conférence de cette année ouvre de nouvelles perspectives en établissant des liens entre la liberté artistique et la Convention sur la protection et la promotion de la diversité des expressions culturelles et la liberté de la presse.

Près de 1100 participants ont pris part à la Conférence organisée dans le cadre de la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse qui se poursuit le 4 mai à Heslinki. En parallèle, une centaine d’événements ont été organisés dans le monde pour célébrer cette Journée. Parmi les événements clôturant ces célébrations figurent notamment un séminaire sur l’évaluation de l’impact des projets promouvant la liberté d’expression dans la région arabe et une exposition des travaux de 10 jeunes photojournalistes formés dans le cadre d’un projet régional de l’UNESCO financé par la Finlande et la Suède.

Les célébrations 2016 de la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse étaient organisées en partenariat avec le ministère finlandais de l’éducation et de la culture et du ministère des affaires étrangères, avec le soutien d’une cinquantaine d’organisations de médias et de la société civile.


Dossier de presse:

Contacts médias :

UNESCO: Roni Amelan: +33(0)7 86 43 58 76

Ministère finlandais des Affaires étrangères : Mari Lankinen, mari.lankinen(at), +358 (0)295 350 642

Ministère finlandais de l’éducation et de la culture : Heidi Mäenpää,, +358 2953 30230, for local media


El acceso a la información, la libertad y la seguridad de los periodistas, temas principales del Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa 2016

Noticias - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 21:51

Los ponentes celebraron el 250º aniversario de la primera legislación del mundo sobre la libertad de expresión e información, promulgada en 1766 por las actuales Finlandia y Suecia, y el 25º aniversario de la Declaración de Windhoek, adoptada en la capital de Namibia en 1991 y punto de origen del Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa. Gwen Lister, fundadora del diario The Namibian, co-presidenta la conferencia de Windhoek sobre medios africanos libres, independientes y plurales, pronunció un discurso en la ceremonia de apertura en el que hizo balance de los logros de los medios africanos desde 1991 y habló del panorama mediático desigual del continente y de los desafíos a los que se enfrentan.

La Directora General describió el Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa como "uno de los momentos más inspiradores en el calendario mundial. Es una ocasión para celebrar la libertad de cada mujer y hombre para expresarse. Es un día en el que el derecho a acceder y compartir información brilla con luz propia. Es un momento para estar con todos los periodistas, para defender su seguridad.”

Bokova describió el año 2016 como un hito para la libertad de prensa, “el primer año en nuestro camino a la implementación de la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible”. La Agenda 2030, añadió, incluye el Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 16 (ODS 16), para promover sociedades pacificas e inclusivas para el desarrollo sostenible. 

La Directora General calificó de intolerable el hecho de que 825 periodistas hayan perdido la vida mientras trabajaban durante la última década, y expresó su indignación por el hecho de que menos del seis por ciento de estos asesinatos se hayan resuelto. “Alzo mi voz cada vez que un periodista es asesinado e insisto en que debe de hacerse justicia” afirmó. “Pido hoy a todos los gobiernos que respondan a las peticiones de información sobre el seguimiento judicial de estos casos. [...] Hay que defender las libertades fundamentales tanto en línea como fuera de Internet. La UNESCO trabaja para promover Internet como una plataforma que se base en derechos y sea abierta, accesible y dirigida por múltiples actores”, añadió. 

En su discurso de bienvenida, el primer ministro de Finlandia, Juha Sipilä, subrayó la importancia de la celebración del Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa para Finlandia y añadió que "debido a la fuerte relación entre la libertad de expresión, la libertad de prensa y la democracia, este evento está también conectado con el 100º aniversario de la independencia de Finlandia que se celebrará el año que viene."

El presidente de Finlandia, Sauli Niinistö, y la Directora General de la UNESCO, presidieron la ceremonia de entrega del Premio Mundial de Libertad de Prensa UNESCO/Guillermo Cano, que recayó en la periodista independiente Khadija Ismayilova de Azerbaiyán.

El presidente recordó las bases por las cuales se otorga el premio. "El Premio Libertad de Prensa anual honra a una persona, organización o institución que haya hecho una contribución sobresaliente a la defensa y/o la promoción de la libertad de prensa en el mundo y, sobre todo, si se ha hecho en situación de peligro", dijo. "El premio de este año se concede a la Khadija Ismayilova, periodista independiente y colaboradora del servicio azerbaiyano de Radio Europa Libre. Lamento profundamente que Ismayilova no esté con nosotros sino en prisión”.

La Directora General de la UNESCO felicitó a Ismayilova por su inquebrantable compromiso con los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales. “Este es el motivo por el que el Premio Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa UNESCO/ Guillermo Cano se otorga a Khadija Ismayilova según la recomendación del jurado internacional”. 

Elmira Ismayilova, madre de la premiada, leyó un mensaje de su hija en el cual denunciaba la violencia ejercida sobre los periodistas en el marco de su trabajo y les animaba a continuar con su tarea. “Defended la verdad, atreveos a preguntar, a pensar de manera crítica. No aceptéis excusas sobre los prisioneros políticos. Las sociedades no pueden desarrollarse sin el escrutinio y la crítica del público. La disidencia no es un motivo para ir a la cárcel. Luchad contra la corrupción y pidamos integridad y justicia a nuestros gobiernos y aliados.”

Dotado de 25.000 dólares, el premio fue creado en honor a Guillermo Cano Isaza, un periodista colombiano que fue asesinado en la entrada de su periódico, El Espectador, el 17 de diciembre de 1986 en Bogotá. La Fundación Cano (Colombia) y la Fundación Helsingin Sanomat (Finlandia) financian el galardón.

La conferencia de este año abrió nuevos caminos al establecer vínculos entre la libertad artística, la diversidad de los medios y la libertad de prensa, tal y como la promueve la Convención de la UNESCO sobre la protección y promoción de la diversidad de las expresiones culturales.

Aproximadamente 1.100 participantes participan en la conferencia del Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa, que sigue el 4 de mayo en Helsinki en paralelo a un centenar de eventos organizados en el mundo. Entre los eventos de clausura de las celebraciones figura un seminario de evaluación del impacto de los proyectos de desarrollo de promoción de la libertad de expresión en la región árabe y una exposición de obras de 10 jóvenes fotoperiodistas formados en el marco de un proyecto regional de la UNESCO financiados ambos por Finlandia y Suecia.

La celebración del Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa 2016 se organizó en colaboración con el Ministerio de Educación y Cultura y el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores finlandeses, y con el apoyo de 50 organizaciones de periodistas y medios y de la sociedad civil.


Para los medios:

Dossier de prensa: (en inglés)

Página web del Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa:


UNESCO: Roni Amelan: +33(0)7 86 43 58 76

Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores finlandés: Mari Lankinen,, +358 (0) 295 350 642

Ministerio de Educación y Cultura de Finlandia: Heidi Mäenpää,, +358 2953 30230), para los medios locales


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