Free press “essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights”

The Secretary-General issued a video message marking World Press Freedom Day and calling a free press “essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights.” He also stressed that “no democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information”. The Secretary-General noted a troubling rise in attacks on media workers and highlighted the need to “defend the rights of journalists, whose efforts help us to build a better world for all.” The theme of this year’s observance is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation.”

The Secretary-General’s video message on World Press Freedom Day, observed on 3 May.


“Disturbing groundswell of intolerance and hate-based violence”

On Monday, the Secretary-General spoke out against hate-based violence targeting worshippers of many faiths, noting recent attacks against a synagogue in the United States and a church in Burkina Faso. “Houses of worship, instead of the safe havens they should be, have become targets,” he noted. The Secretary-General stressed that the “world must step up to stamp out anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred, persecution of Christians and all other forms of racism, xenophobia, discrimination and incitement.” He said that “hatred is a threat to everyone – and so this is a job for everyone,” but stated that political and religious leaders have a “special responsibility” to promote peaceful coexistence.


Secretary-General in China: ‘the green economy is the future’

On Saturday, in Beijing, the Secretary-General delivered remarks at a leaders’ roundtable on promoting green and sustainable development to implement the 2030 Agenda where he emphasized that the “green economy is the future.” He said it “fosters prosperity, creates decent work, addresses root causes of conflict and contributes to the full enjoyment of all human rights – not only civil and political, but also economic, social and cultural.” The Secretary-General underscored the importance of “inclusive, sustainable growth that uplifts surrounding communities, responds to the needs of all, brings women into the economy of tomorrow, and is fully compatible with the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Secretary-General at the Leader’s Roundtable on Promoting Green and Sustainable Development to Implement the 2030 Agenda, in Beijing, China. UN China/Zhao Yun


Other statement and messages

On Benin:

To the opening of the 2019 Regional Seminar on Decolonization (video):

On the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations Population Fund (video):

On the impact of Cyclone Kenneth:

Next Week

On Monday, the Secretary-General will speak at a memorial event to commemorate colleagues lost in the line of duty over the past year. On Tuesday, he will deliver remarks to the Security Council on Peacekeeping. The Secretary-General will then travel to Geneva to attend the spring meeting of the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB). The session will be hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. While in the city, the Secretary-General will also address a special session of the World Trade Organization’s General Council. From Geneva, he will travel to the South Pacific to spotlight the issue of climate change ahead of the Climate Action Summit that he is convening in September in New York, visiting New Zealand, Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. In each country, the Secretary-General will meet government leaders, civil society representatives and youth groups. In Fiji, he will also attend the Pacific Island Forum and while in New Zealand, he will meet with Muslim leaders in Christchurch to express his solidarity following the 15 March terrorist attack.