Today: Tuesday, 5 December 2023 year

UN chief defends free press, its essential role in peace

UN chief defends free press, its essential role in peace

United Nations Secretary-General in his address to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalist stressed the important role of media in keeping the stability and peace across the globe, IRNA said.

Today, the whole world is celebrating the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The UN chief also congratulated the free press professionals who play their essential role in peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights every day.

As the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his message, this year the world, including the media, faces an entirely new challenge, COVID-19. During several months in a row, the pandemic has highlighted new perils for journalists and media staff. Journalism without fear or favour is a new challenge, said Guterres.

The novel pathogen is still strong but there were also attacks on journalists covering protests in the first half of 2020. When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price, the diplomat said. The journalists need special attention and protection now, otherwise, people’s ability to remain informed and make evidence-based decisions is severely hampered.

 When journalists cannot do their jobs in safety, we lose an important defence against the pandemic of misinformation and disinformation that has spread online. 

Fact-based news and analysis depend on the protection and safety of media workers conducting independent reporting, rooted in the fundamental tenet: “journalism without fear or favour”.

“As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, I reiterate my call for a free press that can play its essential role in peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights,” the UN chief added.