World Press Freedom Day 2012 at UNESCO Headquarters

World Press Freedom Day 2012


Since 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly established the World Press Freedom Day celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom, evaluating press freedom around the world, defending the media from attacks on their independence and to paying tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession, it is celebrated annually on May 3rd, the date on which the Windhoek Declaration was adopted.

UNESCO, which coordinates activities each year on May 3rd, had organized, this year, with the French Federation of UNESCO Clubs (FFCU) at the UNESCO Headquarters an important Press Freedom Forum confirming freedom of the press as a bridge of understanding and knowledge, and confirming that the dialogue and the exchange of ideas between high level journalists, experts, and civil society is essential.

Aleksandar Protic (Sorbonne, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge Allumni), president of UNESCO Club at Sorbonne University, organised the event, mandated by the president of French Federation of Clubs, Associations and Centers for UNESCO, Yves Lopez.

High level journalists and experts participated and greatly contributed to Forum :

– Jean Chrisophe Buisson (Culture chief editor at Figaro Magazine)

– Julija Vidovic (RFI journalist, now UNESCO officer)

– Ana Dumitrescu (UNESCO Culture specialist and head of international UNESCO clubs projects)

– Ruxandra Boros (World Bank consultant and Professor in French School of government ENA)

– Boris Petrovic (web-journalist and essay writer).

The event was inaugurate be the press freedom related speech of President of FFCU Yves Lopez, and its vice-President Claude Vielix. The session was directed by Aleksandar Protic.

Most active french university UNESCO Clubs : from Sorbonne University and Sciences Po UPMC greatly contributed to Forum, participating in the event and encouraging and developing initiatives in favor of the freedom of the press.

Students from both universities UNESCO clubs participated in many ways : President of Science Po- UPMC UNESCO Club, Lara Kaute, as well as club’s representative speaker Benedicte Niel had the opportunity to address the Forum and present the work of their club reflection encouraging constructive debate among journalistes and professionals on the issues of press freedom.

UNESCO Club Sorbonne was first represented by the speech of Leandre Lucas regarding the impact and importance of press. His reflection was fallowed by the discourse of Julia Houas Medvedova concerning press : information, manipulation and disinformation. Representatives of UNESCO permanent delegations, UNESCO officers, and civil society members attended the Press Freedom Forum as well.

At this occasion, both Ana Dumitrescu (UNESCO Cultural Sector, previously Director General Office) and Jean Christophe Buisson (Chief Editor for Culture at Figaro Magazine) received the title of Cross-Cultural Ambassadors. Cross-Cultural Ambassadors are recognized by UNESCO Club Sorbonne for having made, a significant contribution to the promotion of cross-cultural understanding, promotion of peace, diversity, compassion, and environmental harmony, achieved through cooperative and non-violent means.


Daniela Iancu, Federal counselor FFCU