UNESCO and its partners celebrate World Press Freedom Day
May 13, 2019
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, marked every year on 3 May, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Regional Office in Beirut (UNESCO Beirut) organized today a conference entitled, “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”. The event was held in partnership with the Ministry of Information and in collaboration with the United Nations Information Center in Beirut (UNIC Beirut), the Media Association for Peace (MAP) and JUSTICIA. The gathering, hosted by UNESCO Beirut Office, was held under the auspices of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and in the presence of the Minister of Information Jamal Al Jarrah.
The opening ceremony featured statements by Minister Al Jarrah, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon Philippe Lazzarini and UNESCO Beirut Director Hamad Al Hammami.
Working sessions focused on this year’s thematic area. The first session tackled “the limits of freedom of speech” and included the contributions of Member of Parliament and Judge George Okeis, Secretary of the Syndicate of Journalists and Rapporteur of the Freedoms Committee of the General Federation of Arab journalists Ali Youssef, and journalist Bassam Abu Zeid. The session was facilitated by Najat Sharafeddin.
The second session revolved around the “potential of the media to contribute to a culture of sustainable peace and democracy”. The session was facilitated by Vanessa Bassil and included journalist Abbas Daher, professor Ibrahim Daoud, and journalist Ghida Jbeili.
The third session dealt with “Media, Internet and Social Media” and was facilitated by Nada Hamzeh. It included statements by the Head of Office of Combating Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Lieutenant Colonel Albert Khoury, Lawyer and Vice President of the Information Technology Committee of the Bar Association Diana Rhayem, and member of SMEX Organization Abd Kataya.
The closing session addressed the way forward and included contributions from president of ‘Justicia’ Paul Morcos, and Programme Specialist of Communication and Information at UNESCO Beirut George Awad.