Uruguay to host 2022 World Press Freedom Day Conference

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The announcement was made during a handover ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in the presence of HE Mr. Albertus Aochamub, Ambassador of Namibia, host country of the 2021 Conference; HE Ms. Gabriela Civila Lopez, Ambassador of Uruguay; and Mr. Tawfik Jelassi, Assistant Director-General for the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO.

With Uruguay hosting World Press Freedom Day 2022, global conference returns to Latin America and the Caribbean almost a decade after the event took place in San José, Costa Rica. The conference is scheduled to take place around May 3 in Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest cities in Uruguay, whose historic district is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

UNESCO is grateful for Uruguay’s long-standing commitment to press freedom, the safety of journalists and access to information, and we firmly believe that Uruguay s will prove to be a valuable partner in the co-organization of this event.

Tawfik Jelassi, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Communication and Information

Civila Lopez, Ambassador of Uruguay to UNESCO, congratulated Namibia for hosting the last edition of the conference and said that Uruguay took with pride and commitment the responsibility of co-hosting the 2022 world conference. Ms. Lopez also reaffirmed Uruguay’s deep condemnation of crimes, attacks and all forms of violence and intimidation against journalists and media professionals.

The handover ceremony was also an opportunity to announce that the recognition of the Windhoek + 30 Declaration, adopted by the participants of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day Conference in Namibia, has been proposed as an item of the agenda of the 41st session of the General Conference of UNESCO (9-24 November 2021).

The Windhoek + 30 Declaration is not a Namibian draft resolution, but something that we are submitting on behalf of the rest of the world. We hope to have a wave of co-sponsors.

Albertus Aochamub, Ambassador of Namibia to UNESCO

Ambassador Aochamub recalled the 1991 Windhoek Seminar, which gave birth to the historic Windhoek Declaration on the Free, Independent and Pluralist Press. He also referred to the ongoing consultation process in Namibia, supported by UNESCO, to draft a bill on access to information. “We guarantee a credible, citizen-owned and grassroots-owned bill whose citizens feel their voices are heard,” Aochamub said.

The Windhoek +30 Declaration takes up the spirit of the original Windhoek Declaration of 1991 on the free, independent and pluralist press. It contains recommendations to address persistent and new challenges to press freedom, such as the severe economic crisis disrupting the media and the growing proliferation of online disinformation and hate speech.

The handover ceremony was virtually attended by other UNESCO Member States and delegates from previous host countries, as well as the presidents of the regional groups of the UNESCO Executive Board.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of the General Conference of UNESCO in 1991.

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