"Congratulations to all of us for this event, and I am grateful that Indonesia has been selected to host the commemoration of World Press Freedom Day 2017, which means strengthening the importance of maintaining good press freedom for the benefit of our country," Kalla noted.
In his opening address, the vice president also underlined the importance of ensuring responsible freedom of press.
"Press freedom has consequences and that responsibility is no longer a censorship but to ensure the internal credibility of the media and society," he stated.
The vice president also highlighted the importance of the media as a third pillar of democracy that can provide criticism and offer critical views to the government.
"A state, without a critical view, cannot carry out a mission to ensure prosperity of the people and run a good and just state," he noted.
Every year, May 3 marks the day when the world celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom to evaluate the freedom of press around the world, to defend the media from attacks on its independence, and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives while carrying out their professional duties.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Government of Indonesia, and the Press Council of Indonesia are co-organizing the main event of World Press Freedom Day and the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize Ceremony in Jakarta on May 1-4, 2017.
UNESCO leads the celebrations across the world by identifying the global theme and organizing the main event in different parts of the world every year.
The international day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCOs General Conference in 1991.
This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 had produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.
For World Press Freedom Day 2017, several media houses will feature stories, interviews, and in-depth reports on pressing issues related to media freedom.
In the meantime, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova thanked Indonesia for hosting the World Press Day event being held on May 1-4, 2017.
Bokova also praised the freedom of press following the era of reformation that started in 1998 in Indonesia, which now serves as a model for other countries in the world.