Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) warmly welcomes UNESCO’s adoption of the Windhoek+30 Declaration on Information as a Public Good on November 18, 2021, and calls for its urgent implementation.
The declaration makes targeted recommendations for governments; UNESCO and other intergovernmental organisations; technology companies; as well as journalists, media outlets, civil society and academia. It calls for collective collaborative action to address the “severe economic crisis which is posing an existential threat to independent news media worldwide”.
GFMD particularly welcomes the declaration’s calls
- For governments to take “effective steps to nurture a diversity of viable public, private and community media, and implement specific policies, along with relevant safeguards, to promote the production of independent, quality journalism, with the aim of ensuring people’s access to relevant, diverse and reliable information.”
- For UNESCO and other intergovernmental organisations to encourage “the development of joint funding instruments supported by a combination of States, multilateral institutions, private foundations and philanthropists to promote information as a public good.”
- For technology companies to support ”information as a public good in various ways, for example through fair and inclusive partnership arrangements, which may include donations or other financial measures, and the protection of journalists who are the victims or at risk of online attacks.
- For journalists, media outlets, civil society and academia to promote ”a more inclusive, pluralistic and sustainable media sector, including through measures that promote the involvement of young people, women and marginalised groups in the media.
The adoption of the Windhoek+30 Declaration on Information as a Public Good is a vindication for GFMD and our members who have long called for renewed vigour and agreement on collective action to respond to the crises facing independent journalism and public interest media.
(See for example GFMD’s emergency appeal to support journalism and media in 2020 which was signed by 180 journalism and media support organisations and addresses many of the issues addressed in the declaration.)
GFMD and our members will continue to work with UNESCO and all other stakeholders to support the activities, collaboration and cooperation necessary to achieve the declaration’s ambitious goals.
About the Windhoek+30 Declaration on Information as a Public Good
The Windhoek+30 Declaration was drafted and first adopted at UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day Global Conference in Namibia on 3 May 2021 marking 30 years since the 1991 Declaration of Windhoek on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press.
The 1991 declaration was “a catalyst for the proclamation of World Press Freedom Day, and as an inspiration for ongoing action to promote and protect freedom of expression, free, independent and pluralistic media, and access to information around the world”.
The resolution to adopt the Windhoek+30 Declaration declaration was proposed by the Namibian Government and accepted by the 193 member UNESCO member states present at the 41st session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris on November 18, 2021.