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The Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia and will be a digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Selected sessions will take place physically in Windhoek, respecting physical distancing and other precautions recommended by the health authorities.


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Download the programme with all speakers



16:00 -17:15

  • COVID 19: How do we prevent the pandemic from becoming a media extinction event?, by UN Verified



11:00 - 12:00

  • Press cartoons: a tool for Media and Information Literacy, by Cartooning for Peace
  • Kick off of the Youth Newsroom covering World Press Freedom Day Global Conference

12:00 - 13:00

  • Emergency Measures to Support Media Hit by Covid-19, organized by Free Press Unlimited and the INGOs consortium implementing the EU project ‘Covid-19 Response in Africa: Together for Reliable information’, with UNESCO, Internews, and the OIF
  • Training on the 2005: Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions [Closed door session]

13:00 - 13:30

  • Is Independent Media a Public Good and is Public Subsidy to Support it Realistic?, by BBC Media Action


  • Kick off of the Arab Forum / 25 years After the Sana’a Declaration [interpretation EN&AR]

14:00 -15:00

15:00 - 16:00

  • Information & Democracy: developing concrete recommendations for the sustainability of journalism, organized by the Forum on Information and Democracy [interpretation in EN/FR]

  • MIL as a backbone for intercultural dialogue, and anti-hate speech, by UNESCO

16:00 - 17:00

  • Journalism, Tech Platforms, and the Future of Media Policy, workshop of the Dynamic Coalition on the Sustainability of Journalism and News Media (DC-Sustainability)
  • MIL by design: Can media, AI and libraries help?, by UNESCO

17:00 - 18:00

  • Windhoek Declaration and the Safety of Journalists: Past, Present and Future, by the Civil Society Coalition on Safety of Journalists
  • The challenges ahead: perspectives from the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, by IBAHRI and the High-Level Legal Panel on Media Freedom

18:00 - 19:00

  • The role of governments in protecting Media Freedom: What more can the Media Freedom Coalition do?, by the Media Freedom Coalition

19:00 - 20:00

  • Realising the Potential of Think Tanks in Striking a Balance Between Freedom of Expression and Addressing Harmful Digital Speech, by the Center for Law and Democracy



Regional Forums

The global conference is connecting with the regional World Press Freedom Day celebrations, building upon the historic series of regional seminars triggered by the 1991 Seminar in Windhoek, which inspired regional declarations to promote a free, independent, and pluralistic press, in meetings held in Alma-Ata (1992), Santiago (1994), Sana’a (1996), and Sofia (1997).

  • 08:00-10:30 - Asia and the Pacific Forum
  • 09:00-11:00 - Europe Forum, 26 Years After the Sofia Declaration, organized by UNESCO with the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom of the European University Institute
  • 09:00-12:30 - Africa Forum, 30 Years After the Windhoek Declaration [interpretation in EN/FR]
  • 10:30-12:30 - Centra Asia Forum, 29 years after the Alma-Ata Declaration [interpretation in EN/RU]
  • 16:00-19:00 - Latin American and the Caribbean Forum, 26 Years After Santiago Declaration [interpretation in EN/SP]


12:00 - 13:00

  • Countering Digital Disinformation while respecting Freedom of Expression, an event part of the WSIS Forum
  • The Future of the African Media, by the Federation of African Journalists

13:00 - 14:00

  • Digital and physical threats, financial pressure, access to information: How can investigative journalism survive in a hostile world?, hosted by Forbidden Stories
  • The Future of the African Media, organized by the Federation of African Journalists

14:00 - 15:00

  • Opening dialogue between Zukiswa Potye, CEO of the South African Media Development and Diversity Agency, and Rod Sims, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman, moderated by Guy Berger

  • Thematic Plenary on Media Viability "A Pillar for Information as a Public Good" [interpretation in EN/FR]

15:00 - 16:00

  • The public’s right to know: The perspective of special rapporteurs on freedom of expression, hosted by ARTICLE 19

16:00 - 16:30

  • Launch the ‘Global Drive for Media Freedom and Safety of Journalists’ – with the support by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented by OHCHR and UNESCO

17:00 - 18:00

  • African media policy in the digital age - in memory of 30 years of the Windhoek Declaration and the lifework of press freedom activist Jeanette Minnie, in partnership with the Namibia Media Trust

  • Arts and creativity as public goods: Promoting diverse culture contents in the digital environment, hosted by UNESCO
  • At the nexus of hatred and disinformation: women journalists targeted by organised online campaigns, organized by UNESCO and ICFJ


A day to listen inspiring stories from individuals making a difference on freedom of expression


11:00 - 12:00

  • #PressFreedomIsMyFreedom "Watch Party", by the Namibia Media Trust, Fesmedia Africa and Deutsche Welle Akademie at the amphitheater of the Windhoek Zoo Park
  • The event will end with a Minute of silence called by Namibia Media Professionals Union (NAMPU)


  • Remember the dead, fight for the living - A tribute to journalists who have died from Covid-19, in partnership with the International Federation of Journalists.

13:00 - 14:00

  • ‘Recite and Take Action’ Festival: Journalists and journalistic writers reading favorite pages about stories making a difference in the defence of press freedom, in partnership with Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation. Recordings will also de available as podcasts.
  • Release of the World Press Freedom Voices, short video messages from members of the community celebrating World Press Freedom Day across the world.

17:00 - 18:00

  • Creating champions: cultivating and capacity-building public defenders of press freedom, by the One Free Press Coalition, with the Committee to Protect Journalists, the IWMF, Forbes, and Al Jazeera


2 May - Global Opening and plenaries*


14:00 - 15:00

  • Welcome Performance by the National Cultural Group 

15:00 - 16:00

  • Global Opening Ceremony and Opening Talk Show: Information is a Public Good

17:00 - 18:00

  • UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize Award Ceremony, followed by an interview with 2021 Laureate [interpretation EN/FR]


* interpretation in EN/FR will be available in all sessions


3 May - Closing and plenaries*


09:30 - 11:00

  • Thematic Plenary on Media and Information Literacy: A Pillar for Information as a Public Good

11:00 - 12:00

  • Plenary "Voices from the regions"

12:00 - 13:00

  • Thematic Plenary on Transparency: A Pillar for Information as a Public Good

13:00 - 13:30

  • Wrap-up Plenary and adoption of the Windhoek + 30 Declaration

13:30 - 14:00

Closing and hand-over to 2022 World Press Freedom Day host


* interpretation in EN/FR will be available in all sessions