October 4, 2022
International Day of Democracy: Democracy cannot survive without media freedom: Antonio Guterres

International Day of Democracy 15 September 2022: International Democracy Day, 15 September 2022 This year, Democracy Day focuses on the importance of media freedom to democracy, peace and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a video message on International Day of Democracy emphasized that democracy cannot survive without a free press and freedom of expression.

International Day of Democracy 15 September 2022: Antonio Guterres has said that a free and pluralistic media, being able to inform the public on issues of public interest, is a key component of democracy. It enables the public to make decisions and hold governments accountable. When media freedom is at risk – the flow of information can be suppressed, influenced or completely suppressed. Due to the severe impact on human rights, democracy and development, journalists around the world face an adverse impact on their ability to work independently.

“While the COVID-19 crisis has brought great challenges globally, a new upheaval in Europe is reminding the world that our democratic principles are under constant threat,” he said. In fact, democracy is shrinking now more than ever, civic space is shrinking, mistrust, mis- and propaganda are on the rise while threats to the freedoms of journalists and media persons are increasing by the day.

International Day of Democracy 15 September 2022: To mark International Day of Democracy, the United Nations Office is collaborating with the United Nations Democracy Fund to host a discussion at SDG Studios as part of the Partnership SDG Roundtable Series.

The conversation will reveal why protecting media freedom is an important component of a healthy democracy. In addition, it will propose and discuss solutions for the achievement of SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. You can contribute to this work by sharing the September 15th Roundtable and raising awareness about protecting media freedom globally.

decline in freedom of the press

Regarding the need to celebrate this day, UNESCO has reported that 85 percent of the world’s population has experienced a decline in press freedom in their country in the last five years.

The media is increasingly facing all-out attacks globally, both online and offline, with increasing media detentions across countries; There has been an increased use of defamation laws as well as cybersecurity or hate speech laws to curb online expression; The increasing use of strategic lawsuits against public participation laws (SLAPPS) and surveillance technologies are targeting the media and hindering their work. In view of this, the United Nations is celebrating this day.

During the COVID-19 crisis we have all seen how it has become more important than ever for the media to collect and evaluate facts and fight propaganda. Ensuring online security is equally important.

It is felt that women journalists are particularly affected by these attacks. UNESCO and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) found that 73 percent of 714 female-identifying journalists from 125 countries have experienced online violence in the course of their work. Efforts to silence journalists are increasing shamelessly day by day and they often pay the ultimate price with their lives. From 2016 to the end of 2021, UNESCO recorded the killings of 455 journalists who were either killed or killed in the course of their work or on the job.

The UN Secretary-General stated “Our Common Agenda” emphasizes the importance of civil society in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Civil society is essential to ensure a free and pluralistic media. From The Gambia to Ukraine and Tunisia to Sri Lanka, civil society organizations are drafting legal frameworks for access to information; combating hate speech, supporting local citizen journalism; Fighting misinformation and misinformation; And supporting the rights of the media has become important.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Action Plan on the Safety and Impunity of Journalists. However, more needs to be done to strengthen its implementation as a multi-stakeholder coordination framework to protect journalists and fight punishment. In his message on World Press Freedom Day, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged governments, media organizations and technology companies everywhere to speak truth to power, expose lies, and support the media in building strong, resilient institutions and societies. support the work.

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