On Thursday, Pandjaitan received a whistle from Finlands Minister of Education and Culture, Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, to mark the handing over of the task of hosting the WPFD 2017 at a ceremony marking the conclusion of the WPFD 2016, Vicka A. Rompis from the Indonesia representative office at UNESCO in Paris noted in a statement received by ANTARA News here.
Pandjaitan stated that the Indonesian government was honored to be handed over the task and will make necessary preparations to be a good host.
He remarked it would be the first time in 15 years that the event would be held in Southeast Asia in 2017.
Helsinki hosted the WPFD 2016 on May 2-4, which was attended by more than one thousand participants from various circles, including journalists, government officials, businessmen, academicians, and non-governmental organizations.
The event was also attended by Finlands President Sauli Niinisto, Prime Minister Juha Sipila, and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova.
Indonesian participants in the event included Ambassador and permanent delegate to UNESCO Hotmangaradja Pandjaitan, Indonesian Ambassador to Helsinki Wiwiek Setyawati Firman, and Chairman of the Indonesian Press Council Josep Adi Prasetyo.
The WPFD 2016 was themed "Access To Information and Fundamental Freedom."
The WPFD is an annual event initiated by the UNESCO, and May 3 has been chosen as the Press Freedom Day based on the United Nations resolution made at the general assembly in 1993.
On the day, the international community commemorates the fundamental principles of press freedom, including honoring journalists who faced pressures, threats, and imprisonment and even lost their lives while carrying out their job.
The event was also marked by the presentation of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, and this year, the recipient was press activist from Azerbaijan Khadija Ismayilova.
The award is bestowed on individuals, organizations, or institutions that have taken high risks and fought for upholding the freedom of press.
(Reporting by Zeunita Gibbons/H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/F001)