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 sur le pluralisme 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.



Missing sessions are being uploaded in the platform and will be availble soon.

This year’s World Press Freedom Day Global Conference brought together close to a thousand participants in Punta del Este, Uruguay from 86 countries. A total of around 3.400 registered to join more than 60 sessions online and offline during the three days.

The Conference was an action platform for partners and stakeholders to come together and identify solutions for the most pressing challenges of the digital era and develop concrete solutions to address the threats posed by increased surveillance to press freedom and privacy, including:

International partners mobilizing to address new and persisting threats

  • Joint Statement on the Safety of Journalists on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day 2022 by the Presidents of the UN General Assembly, the UNESCO General Conference, and of the UN Human Rights Council, available here: English | French | Spanish | Arabic | Russian | Chinese
  • Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Gender Justice, issued by the special mandates on freedom of expression in the UN, the OAS, the OSCE and the ACHPR, which calls attention to the structural barriers that prevent women from equal enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to digital technology and participation in the media. Full text.
  • Launch of the Organization of  American States Group of Friends on Freedom of Expression and Journalism.
  • The first consultations on the 10th Anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity were held, which will inform the future implementation of the Plan.
  • Capacity building sessions were also organized on the sidelines of the Conference including a Workshop with Privacy Commissioners on the Right to Privacy, Freedom of Expression and Data Protection, building on UNESCO’s Guidelines on privacy and data protection, and a training for UN staff from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Calls for funding 

Launch of multiple publications, initiatives and solutions to address the digital threats to journalists and media


We all must do more to address the risks and seize the opportunities of the digital age. On this World Press Freedom Day, I invite Member States, technology companies, the media community, as well as the rest of civil society to come together to develop a new digital configuration – one that protects both journalism and journalists.

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day


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