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Home arrow Current Affairs arrow Meetings - Events arrow Deputy Foreign Minister Terens Quick Participates in Forum for World Press Freedom Day (Addis Ababa, 02/05/2019)

Deputy Foreign Minister Terens Quick Participates in Forum for World Press Freedom Day (Addis Ababa, 02/05/2019)

Thursday, 02 May 2019

Deputy Foreign Minister Terens Quick participated in the annual Forum for World Press Freedom Day, held by UNESCO in Addis Ababa this year, and jointly organised by the government of Ethiopia and the African Union.

The President of Ethiopia, Sale-Gouork Zeounta, opened the proceedings and in a meeting with Mr Quick, stated, “Two months ago I welcomed you to the Presidential Palace and now I am glad that Greece has joined us again in such a big step for my country, in the context of the many reforms towards complete freedom of the Press. I thank your government for standing by my country.”

Media issues are among the reforms instituted by the new Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, with the first significant step being the release of all the journalists who are imprisoned. The Prime Minister, who hosted a dinner for the European and African ministers, is also the person who will be awarded this year by UNESCO for his contribution to the freedom of the Press in Ethiopia, as announced during the Forum.

In his speech, the Greek Deputy Minister focused on the fake news and the impact the advancements in the Press, the radio and television networks, and the internet are having on the news. As he noted, “Fake news is a dangerous enemy who is intervening globally in many sectors of government activities, mainly targeting external policy, defence, economy, elections and the private lives of politicians chiefly, while also disrupting the everyday lives of ordinary citizens. There are several sources triggering this dangerous journalistic dysfunction. Without putting them in order, one cause is definitely the fact that the Media is not what is used to be in previous decades. It is now in the hands of powerful economic interests, with extreme intervention in everything they wish. Another cause is the race for the scoop, mainly through electronic Media, online and radio/television, whereby fake news is not double-checked as to the source and is fed without thought to the citizens. I could add that in the last years, secret services or Media serving state or political or even personal interests have been accused of intervening in this war of misinformation. At the time of the memorandum crisis, a full-scale war had been waged against Greece by the Media, mainly from certain European countries. In the end, we resisted. And they were the ones who lost and came out as untrustworthy, not us.”

On the margins of the Forum, the Deputy Minister met with the Deputy African Union Chair, Kwesi Quartey.