Remarks by UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez on World Press Freedom Day



Your Excellency, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. John Magufuli,

Honorable Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe,

Your Excellency Ambassadors and Representatives of various Missions to Tanzania,

Honorable Representatives from Government,

Honorable Media Owners,

Representatives from Civil society,

Members of the Press,

Fellow UN colleagues,

All protocol observed,


Habari za Asubuhi,

Asalam Aleykum,

Bwana Asifiwe,

And Good morning,


Nina furaha kubwa sana kujiunga nanyi tena kwa mara ingine katika maadhimisho haya ya siku ya uhuru wa vyombo vya habari duniani.

Umoja wa mataifa umekuwa ukiadhimisha siku hii muhimu tangu mwaka elfu moja mia tisa tisini na tatu.


Siku hii ni maalum kwa ajili ya kutambua, kuadhimisha na kutathmini kanuni za uhuru wa vyombo vya habari,

Kutetea vyombo vya habari; na kuwatambua na kuwakumbuka wale wote waliopoteza Maisha yao katika kutetea haki hii.


This year the global commemoration is taking place in Jarkata - Indonesia and member states around the world including Tanzania are equally commemorating this day under the theme, “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies

Before I proceed with my statement as UN Resident Coordinator for Tanzania, I would like to read you a message taken from The UN Secretary Generals’ video message for today;


I quote,

“Journalists go to the most dangerous places to give voice to the voiceless, media workers suffer character assassinations, sexual assault, detention, injuries and even death.  We need leaders to defend the free media.  This is crucial to counter prevailing mis-information and you need everyone to stand for our right to truth. On World press freedom day, I call for an end to all crack down against journalists because a free press advances peace and justice for all.  When we protect journalists, their words and pictures can change our world. Thank you”

End of quote.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests Ladies and Gentlemen,

Umoja wa Mataifa Tanzania unashukuru kwa ushirikiano mzuri kutoka kwa serikali na waandishi wa habari. Kufikisha ujumbe kwa jamii na kufanya uhamasishaji juu ya kazi za Umoja wa mataifa nchini ni muhimu kwa jamii.

Asanteni sana kwa ushirikiano wenu.


Reflecting on this year’s theme, it is very much linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  Specifically, Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong institutions which has which seeks to ensure free press and access to information.

A free press is closely linked to access to information and the protection of human rights.

Uhuru wa Vyombo vya habari ni muhimu kwa Maendeleo.  Freedom of the press is the wheel that takes essential humanitarian work forward.


Utekelezaji wa Malengo ya Dunia unategemea sana uwepo wa uhuru wa vyombo vya habari.United Nations believes no one must be left behind and hence the need to communicate to all including people at the grassroots, local government authorities, civil society groups and more.


We believe that when the press is free to report on development matters -for instance on Global Goal number one on ending poverty - then the masses will receive information that will gradually help them to understand and actively participate in the development process. The same applies to all other goals including Goal number 9 on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, where the media is required to inform the society about the steps required to start up industries and how industrialization drives economic growth, creates job opportunities and thereby reduces income inequality – the mediacould also link up with other UN agencies like UNDP and UNIDO to find out the policy support provided by the UN through the UN Development Assistance Plan.

Free media can and should inspire development.

I’m pleased to note that the United Nations in Tanzania has worked closely with the media in Tanzania and we have served as a source of information when required. This close relationship has enabled us to engage journalists through capacity-building, field visits and as well as through various forums and discussions. These initiatives are aimed at fostering a stronger relationship and also which leads to wananchi gaining a better understanding of the UN’s agenda in Tanzania. We are committed to building on this relationship and encouraging respect for human rights and gender equality.


United Nations Tanzania is committed to supporting the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania in strengthening the capacity of journalists to report accurately factual, well-balanced and well researched information.  We encourage journalists to remain accountable through following journalism professional ethics.


The UN also commends the Government of Tanzania for the efforts made to ensure that journalists get access to information in many places, that they are heard and that their working environment is one which is free and enables them to provide wananchi with useful and accurate information.


Tufanye ya wakati, wakati tuna wakati kwani utakuja wakati, tutatamani kufanya ya wakati ,wakati hatuna wakati.  Tuwajibike sote sasa, Tusimamie Haki ya uhuru wa vyombo vya habari!


Kupanga ni Kuchagua!

I wish you all a happy World Press Freedom Day 2017!


Asanteni Sana!