Windhoek Declaration


A Declaration that still packs a punch for a free press
18 Apr 2016

A Declaration that still packs a punch for a free press

All too often, declarations remain simply pieces of paper filed away and forgotten. But the Windhoek Declaration is different, and its impact is still being felt today. In 1991, the winds of change were blowing for a second time after the liberation from colonial rule as many countries in Africa embarked on a path toward more democracy. Until then, efforts at independent, professional journalism had...

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Turning freedom of expression resolutions into reality
18 Apr 2016

Turning freedom of expression resolutions into reality

Rights such as freedom of expression and access to information are often associated with journalists, but they belong to everyone. It takes strong commitment to ensure they become reality, not just words on paper. 2016 is a significant year for Africa. It marks the 30th anniversary of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 25th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration on press...

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Gwen Lister
17 Apr 2016

‘We had big dreams’: a look back at the birth of the Windhoek Declaration

We had big dreams, so many of us journalists who attended the 1991 United Nations/UNESCO-organised seminar that gave birth to the Windhoek Declaration. We were not yet practiced in the ways of democracy, as governments across the continent were still largely intolerant of freedom of speech and expression. But we were idealistic and infused with a fervent desire to see all of Africa’s media able...

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History made in Namibia: the Windhoek Declaration of 1991
17 Apr 2016

History made in Namibia: the Windhoek Declaration of 1991

The principles of the Windhoek Declaration on an independent and pluralistic press are still relevant 25 years after they were adopted. As authorities in Africa continue to undermine media freedom, it’s important to outline steps to strengthen a free press for the coming years. Nobody arriving at the Safari Hotel in the Namibian capital, Windhoek, on 29 April 1991 – journalists all over Africa, UN...

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