Building peace in the minds of men and women

World Press Freedom Day

3 May

3 May acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.

Every year, 3 May is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.

At the core of UNESCO's mandate is freedom of the press and freedom of expression. UNESCO believes that these freedoms allow for mutual understanding to build a sustainable peace.

It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom - a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.


Journalism without Fear or Favour

22, 23, 24 April | World Forum | The Hague | The Netherlands


In 2020 the annual World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) will be hosted by UNESCO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The conference will take place on April 22, 23, 24 at the World Forum in The Hague, a city known for its role in international peace and justice. Both organizers call upon those active in the field of press freedom to participate in WFPDC 2020. The event will also feature on the third day the first-ever World Press Freedom Festival. The conference and festival are being held in the run-up to World Press Freedom Day on 3 May.


The title of this year’s celebration is ‘Journalism without Fear or Favour’. The key premise of the Conference is that we need to stand up for free and independent media, and protect journalism from persisting and new forms of control. With the independence and freedom of the media under attack in so many countries, this is now more relevant than ever. 


By setting the issue in world leaders’ agendas, by inspiring and educating, and by mobilizing people into action, WPFD 2020 calls upon everyone to contribute to positive change - including governments, journalists and media, the judiciary and legal sector, Internet businesses, civil society, academia and the youth. 


Interested in joining the World Press Freedom Conference 2020? You are invited to apply now! Go to the secured registration portal. and complete the registration flow. Please note that your registration is pending until your receive further notice from the WPFC team. 



Information for participants and journalists who want to cover WPFC 2020 can be found in the Conference Guide. Reporting journalists will also get the opportunity to register for the conference as from the last week of February. WPFC 2020 organizers do not sponsor travel arrangements for media. In case of any questions, please send an email to: and


The concept note for this year’s World Press Freedom Day lays out current developments and points to ponder concerning the safeguarding of free and independent media.