World Press Freedom Day – Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian (3 May 2018)


On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, I would like to pay tribute to the journalists killed in Kabul on April 30, 2018, including Shah Marai AFP photographer.

I pay tribute to the courage of those who often risk their lives to continue to work to keep us informed.

On this World Press Freedom Day, France joins with Germany in issuing the following joint statement:

“On this World Press Freedom Day, France and Germany reaffirm their shared, constant and resolute commitment to press freedom, the freedom of expression and the protection of journalists all over the world, including on the Internet.

Media pluralism, the right to inform or be informed and the ability to express critical views are key to the democratic debate. In this respect, journalists, media workers and bloggers on social media play a critical role.

They are increasingly threatened – including in Europe. We have a responsibility to pay tribute to the courage of these men and women and to combat those who seek to silence their voices through the use of force or threats or by discrediting them. It is not acceptable for journalists to be targeted or murdered because of their profession. By doing their jobs, they are defending our freedom. The defense of these principles and the protection of journalists carrying out their profession is a priority.

Our two countries are working toward this goal. We will continue to promote the right of everyone to freedom of opinion and freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. We are mobilized at the United Nations to defend this fundamental freedom and to combat the impunity of those who flout it. We actively supported the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the resolution on the protection of journalists, which, this year, highlights the situation of female journalists and aims to ensure closer monitoring by the UN secretary-general.

We call for the full implementation of resolution 1738 adopted on December 23, 2006, and resolution 2222 adopted on May 27, 2015, by the Security Council on the protection of journalists in armed conflict.”