On 3rd May, the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was awarded to the imprisoned journalist Reyoot Alemu. The ceremony took place in San Jose, Costa Rica, in the presence of Laura Chinchilla, President of the Republic of Costa Rica.
The ceremony started by introductory remarks by Ms Ana Maria Busquets de Cano on behalf of the Guillermo Cano Isaza Foundation and Kalus Niemi of the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation followed by the President of the Jury Monjurul- Bulbul.
Referring to this year's World Press Freedom Day 's theme, ' Safe to speak' Securing freedom of expression in all media' the Director- General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, recalled that that Day was "an opportunity to renew our commitment to support press freedom, to protect safety of journalists and to fight against impunity in all media". As she pointed out further, "the media landscape has changed beyond recognition over the twenty years we have celebrated the World Press Freedom Day, but our objective remain the same - to promote freedom of expression as a foundation for human dignity and the cornerstone of democracy".
"It is an honor to participate in this award ceremony and that UNESCO has chosen us to host this event,” declared President Laura Chinchilla. “The fact that Costa Rica is the Latin American country with greater press freedom is something that we are pleased with but it also commits us to continue honoring those who defend freedom of the press”.
The Director-General also visited the University of Peace (UPEACE) where she delivered an address and unveiled a plaque in honor of UNESCO.