Windhoek +30 Declaration adopted
World Press Freedom Day commemorated
04 May 2021 | Local News
The conference was held under the theme ‘Information as a Public Good’ from 29 April and ended Monday.
The Windhoek Declaration was promulgated in 1991 and focused on the role of a free, independent and pluralistic media. The date of the declaration’s adoption, 3 May, was declared World Press Freedom Day.
The Windhoek +30 Declaration has called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) and other intergovernmental organisations to reinforce cooperation with governments and civil society organisations in order to safeguard and enhance guarantees for the full exercise of the right to information and freedom of expression, both online and offline, with a particular focus on strengthening media freedom, diversity, and independence as well as media viability, transparency of digital platforms, and media and information literacy.
Speaking at the adoption of the declaration, Unesco’s Director of Policies and Strategies on Communication and Information, Guy Berger, stated that the Windhoek Declaration is a resource that provides guidance on what needs to be done to advance information as a public good and how information can be obtained as a public good for human rights, democracy and sustainable development.
Free flow of information
Berger said Unesco has gained amplification from the Windhoek +30 Declaration to take its work forward and will try to include the declaration in many of its public events in addition to engaging technology companies to become more transparent in what they do.
“If journalism is a public good, somehow we must find ways for public support that do not compromise journalism, but make sure it is there as a strong element in society,” said Berger.
On his part, Unesco Country Representative to Namibia, Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum, said Unesco has worked with different stakeholders over the past 30 years to fulfil the mandate of free flow of information and ideas. This, he said, has helped the world in making progress on public access to information and fundamental freedom as called for by the Sustainable Development Goals.
He added that just as the original Windhoek Declaration set a course that guided stakeholders for three decades, the newly adopted Windhoek +30 Declaration’s wisdom and guidance can be equally useful.
“As outlined in the Windhoek +30 Declaration, we are recognising that three more conditions are necessary - media viability, transparency of the big internet companies and a high level of citizen competencies in communication and information issues,” said Moussa-Elkadhum. – Nampa