Human rights / World Press Freedom Day 2016
Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
May 3, 2016
Today, on World Press Freedom Day, I reaffirm France’s constant and resolute commitment in support of press freedom and the freedom of expression everywhere.
Media pluralism, the right to inform and be informed, and the ability to express critical views are key to the democratic debate.
The defense of these principles and the protection of journalists while carrying out their work is a priority of our foreign policy. In light of the growing threats facing journalists and the media, notably in crisis situations, our diplomatic network is mobilized in the multilateral forums as well as on the ground.
France welcomes the decision to award the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize to Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova.
On May 4, I will visit the Maison des Journalistes de Paris, an association that welcomes threatened journalists from all over the world. I will pay tribute – notably in the presence of Reporters without Borders – to their courage and commitment in ensuring free access to information.