Free Press is a Major Prerequisite for Accomplishing UN MDGs - Urged Dr. Naseer Homoud While Marking World Press Freedom Day

IIMSAM Middle East Director & Goodwill Ambassador urged that World Press Freedom Day serves as a reminder for respecting press freedom and as a day of remembrance for journalists who have sacrificed their lives in the exercise of their profession.

Doha, Qatar, May 04, 2011 --( Observing the World Press Freedom Day Dr. Naseer Homoud Goodwill Ambassador and Director of Middle East office for the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina against Malnutrition (IIMSAM), the Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council while addressing the media said, “World Press Freedom Day serves as a reminder of the need to respect press freedom and as a day of remembrance for journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.”

The Goodwill Ambassador further said that the United Nations General Assembly has been observing May 3 of every year as “World Press Freedom Day” since 1993. As per the provisions enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights envisages the fundamental rights of freedom of expression encompasses the freedom “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” and keeping this objective in view the event is being observed throughout the world to make everyone aware of this inalienable right.

By this day the UN hopes to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 states everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers. The theme of this year celebration is -21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers.

"World Press Freedom Day exists to acknowledge the importance of a free press and freedom of expression to society, whether emerging or well established," he said. "It is an opportunity to recognize the importance of what many take for granted - the daily news, produced by teams of courageous men and women who labour every day in the interests of their societies and of their readers,” added Dr. Homoud.

Linking the accomplishment of United Nations Millennium Development Goals to free press Dr. Homoud said, “improvements in public sector financial management alone will not ensure good governance and progress on goals. Non-traditional, as considered by many donors, aspects of governance such as freedom of the press and human rights also influence development. The strong relationship between poverty and gender rights is particularly striking. For attaining the true essence of egalitarianism in the world community a free and strong press is a major prerequisite,” urged Dr. Homoud. He went on to say “As we are reaching the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals, we must remind States that Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press are basic human rights and an essential factor of development. The world cannot ignore these terrible Human Rights violations; attacks on Journalists and Independent Media organizations are simply unacceptable.”

IIMSAM Middle East Regional Office
Farrukh Khan
974 465 3332