Today marks the International Day for freedom of the press, celebrated for the first time in 1993, after it had been proclaimed by the Gneral Asembly of UNO. The objective of the celebration is that of stressing the significance of this right and of reminding governments of their duty to enforce respect for Article 19 on the Universal declaration of Human Rights and to celebrate the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration based on the principles of the free press, released by African journalists in 1991.
Unesco commerates this event with the Unesco-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to individuals, organisations or institutions that have given their evident contirbution in defence and /or for the promotion of freedom of the press al lover the world, especiallu when it is undermined. Set up in 1997, the prize is assigned by an independent jury composed of 14 professional journalists and member states of Unesco.
The prize is in honour to Guillermo Cano Isaza, Columbian journalist wha was killed in front of his office on 17th December 1986. Secretary Generalo f the United nations, Ban Ki-moon, and Director-General of Unesco, Irina Bokova, has on several occasions underlined the importance of freeedom of the press, a san essential asset “in the building of a free and democratic society”. It is therefore a fundamental right, “a prerequisite in the promotion and protection of all the other human rights.”