May 3, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
Today, on World Press Freedom Day, the United States proudly joins the international community in honoring the many courageous journalists around the world who act bravely in the face of danger each day to expose injustice, corruption, and abuse of power. And we reaffirm our commitment, as we have since the founding of our nation, to freedom of speech and a free press.
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations enshrined international support for the fundamental principle of freedom of opinion and expression in its Universal Declaration for Human Rights.
In the more than sixty years that have passed since that day, we have seen significant progress in the protection of journalists and in the recognition of the fundamental right of media freedom, as well as almost unimaginable technological advances that have made information more accessible to people everywhere. However, journalists today in many parts of the world continue to struggle in the face of persecution, intimidation and detention.
As we celebrate this important freedom today, we pledge to remain vigilant in defense of media freedom, and we recall the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, who said: “The freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by a despotic government.”