The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana will co-host the 25th global celebration of World Press Freedom Day, dubbed “Media, Justice and the Rule of law”, which is scheduled to take place in Accra, Ghana on May 3-4, 2018. The event will be bring together leading actors from the media, civil society, policy makers, representatives of the judiciary, and academia to discuss latest developments and pressing challenges related to press freedom and the safety of journalists.
The focus of the two day event will be on the impact of media and judiciary in ensuring rule of law and upholding the right to freedom and expression. It will also assess the role of the media and judiciary in addressing crimes against journalists especially as the world continues to witness cases of harassment, attacks and killing of journalists and media workers in the line of duty.
Commenting on the choice of Ghana to host the event, the Ambassador of Ghana to UNESCO, Anna Bossman emphasised that, “In accepting to host the 2018 edition of the World Press Freedom Day, Ghana wishes to demonstrate her commitment to the promotion of freedom of press within our national territorial boundaries, the African continent as a whole and the global community in general.”
The 2018 edition of the World Press Freedom Day is to be planned by a multi-stakeholder steering committee formed and co-chaired by the Information Ministry, Ghana and UNESCO. The event is also expected to include a range of plenary and breakout sessions, an academic conference on safety of journalists, a youth newsroom and photo exhibitions.
The 25th global celebration of World Press Freedom Day will be marked for the fourth time in the continent of Africa, 27 years after the Windhoek Declaration on free, independent and pluralistic media was adopted and later endorsed by UNESCO’s General Conference. The 2018 edition is also expected to be marked in over 100 countries across the world.
The commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2018 will serve as an opportunity to remind society that around the world, journalists, editors and media workers, continue to be harassed, attacked, jailed, and in the worst case, killed, simply for practising their profession. Also the 2018 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize will be awarded to a person or an organization that has made outstanding contribution to the defense of press freedom.