Credit: UNESCO

The Luxembourg Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO has recalled that today, Monday 3 May 2021, is World Press Freedom Day.

On 3 May 1991, the Windhoek Conference in Namibia, initiated and organized by UNESCO, adopted a declaration in favour of the development of a free, independent and pluralist press. Two years later, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 May "World Press Freedom Day", which is placed under a different theme each year.

This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind. 

To underline the importance of information within the online media environment, World Press Freedom Day 2021 will highlight three key topics:

  • Steps to ensure the economic viability of news media;
  • Mechanisms for ensuring transparency of internet companies; 
  • Enhanced media and information literacy capacities that enable people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a vital part of information as a public good.

With these goals, World Press Freedom Day 2021 pursues a triple goal:

  • to make the public aware of the dangers and threats to the media, both through the difficulties of access to information encountered by journalists and reporters and through the dangers incurred in the exercise of their profession;
  • to convince the public of the importance of free and quality media which are a public good and a human right;
  • to honour the memory of journalists, reporters, camera (wo)men, photographers and bloggers who have lost their lives or their freedom in the exercise of their profession.

Every year, on 3 May, UNESCO awards the "Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize". This award is named after a Colombian journalist and publisher murdered in 1968 by drug traffickers whose criminal activities he exposed. In 2021, the prize is awarded to Filipino investigative journalist Maria Ressa.

The 2021 edition of World Press Freedom Day is also the occasion of a hybrid international conference organised by UNESCO and the government of Namibia, taking place from 29 April to 3 May in Windhoek. The delegates are looking at issues such as the legal perspectives of information as a public good, emergency measures to support the media affected by the health crisis, media literacy and the development of a “Media New Deal”. In addition, they are reflecting on ways to combat hate speech while protecting freedom of expression.

The Luxembourg Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO also recalled that the Luxembourg Association of Professional Journalists (ALJP) recently launched a campaign aimed at a legislative consecration of the right of access to information for journalists. The Luxembourg Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO has joined this campaign.

In addition, the Luxembourg Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO has placed its conference cycle "UNESCO Rendezvous" in 2021 under the banner "Mankind and Media", analysing various aspects of the media-human relationship in constant transformation. The full cycle programme is available at