World Press Freedom Day 2023
The theme of the World Press Freedom Day 2023, Shaping A Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression As A Driver for All Human Rights is timely for many countries worldwide, including Myanmar.
The Global State of Democracy Report 2022 – Forging Social Contracts in a Time of Discontent published by Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) reports that half of the democratic governments worldwide are in decline, undermined by problems such as restrictions on freedom of expression.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights clearly stipulates “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
The Universal Declaration emphasizes the universality, interdependence and indivisibility of all human rights, all inherent in the human person; this means that one set of rights cannot be enjoyed without the others.
The UN has reiterated that freedom of expression, including free press, is an enabler for all human rights. Press must be free for the people to express their views, demand fulfillment or enjoyment of their basic rights, hold duty bearers accountable, and participate in governance without fear of intimidation, harassment or persecution.
The UN in Myanmar is committed to advocating for the right to freedom of expression, including press freedom, and the right to information. Protecting and promoting these rights, are critical for the future of Myanmar. Full enjoyment of all other rights, including the right to education, health, food and nutrition, labor and employment, clean environment, to name a few, are only possible with a free and vibrant press and civic space.
I salute all Myanmar journalists on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.
 The Decline and Fall of Democracy Worldwide available from https://www.ipsnews.net/2022/12/decline-fall-democracy-worldwide/?fbcli…