Statement by Minister Fantino: World Press Freedom Day
May 3, 2013
As Canadians, we are fortunate to live in a country where the news media can engage audiences without the threats of violence and intimidation that still today plague far too many countries in the world. An open, democratic, transparent and accountable society is one where all citizens and media can express themselves freely, no matter their position on public issues.
Canadians recognize that freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are fundamental values that underpin efforts to advance Canadian interests. These values are consistent with the goals of building a more peaceful world, maintaining global stability, and fostering equitable economic prosperity. As a federal, ethnically diverse, and bilingual multi-party democracy, Canada is committed to promoting inclusion and respect for diversity and human rights globally, to supporting countries in expanding freedoms, and to establishing institutions and processes in which all people—women, men, girls, boys—have a right to equally participate in society.
In Ghana, Malawi and Sierra Leone, we have supported Journalists for Human Rights in its training of journalists and journalism students on how to investigate human rights issues and report on them effectively. In Bangladesh, Canada is helping to build strong institutions and processes that contribute to the free flow of information and allow interaction between citizens, elected officials, and the government. In Ukraine, we are working to strengthen freedom of expression, freedom of information and free media.
On World Press Freedom Day, we reflect on the importance of these and other initiatives and we reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental principles of press freedom.
Minister of International Cooperation
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