On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, France reaffirms its constant and resolute commitment to the freedom of the press, the freedom of expression and the protection of journalists everywhere.
It reaffirms that a free, independent and pluralist press is critical to the proper functioning of democracies and pays tribute to the journalists who have been murdered, tortured, imprisoned or threatened as a result of their commitment to the right to reliable information.
While threats to the freedom of the press and the safety of journalists are increasing around the world, and the press is facing the challenge of disinformation, notably online, undermining the work of journalists to establish and verify facts, increased support from states for the right to reliable and verified information is necessary. A definitive solution to this issue, which impinges on the very principles of our democracy, can only be provided by public actors. It is up to civil societies to also develop the “antibodies” that can ensure our collective resilience, as Jean-Yves Le Drian reaffirmed during the conference on “Civil societies, media and public authorities: Democracies facing the manipulation of information” in April 2018. As such, we commend the Journalism Trust Initiative launched by Reporters Without Borders and its partners aimed at implementing a self-regulating system to provide guarantees with respect to the transparency and verification of information.
In this context, France intends:
- within the framework of its presidency of the G7 and beyond, to promote, in accordance with President Macron’s commitment, the International Partnership for Information and Democracy launched on the initiative of Reporters Without Borders and the international independent Information and Democracy Commission, welcomed through a joint statement by a dozen heads of state and government during the Paris Peace Forum on November 11.
- to continue to make the safety of journalists and the promotion of the freedom of the press one of the priorities of its international strategy on defending human rights.