Russia Suspended From UNESCO World Press Freedom Day Conference
11:29 GMT 02.05.2022 (Updated: 11:30 GMT 02.05.2022)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia was not allowed to participate in the UNESCO conference dedicated to issues of media freedom, which is taking place on 2-5 May in Uruguay, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
"World Press Freedom Day, declared in 1993 by the UN General Assembly, is celebrated annually on May 3. On this occasion, UNESCO, the specialized agency of the UN system for international information cooperation, traditionally holds issue-related conferences. Unfortunately, Russia was not permitted to participate in this year's event," the ministry said in a statement.
The UNESCO secretariat on behalf of the forum's organizers rejected Russia's application "under a far-fetched pretext" to hold a special session on the issue of large IT companies’ influence on mass media operation, as well as on experts' speeches at panel discussions, according to the statement.
"The motivation for the refusal of alleged 'non-compliance' with the requirements of the conference and an already compiled list of speakers is wide open to criticism ... Obviously, the UNESCO secretariat has followed a group of well-known, extremely biased countries promoting the policy of 'canceling' Russia in the international arena and intending to purge the information field from points of view differing from ultra-liberal attitudes of the 'collective West'," the statement added.
The World Press Freedom Day, annually observed on 3 May since 1994, is intended to remind governments of the right to freedom of expression. This year, the global conference is taking place in Punta del Este, southeastern Uruguay, being thematically oriented to the issue of journalism under digital siege.