Ambassador Christopher J. Lamora Delivers Remarks
at the World Press Freedom Day Debate
Friday, May 4, 2023, 10:00 – 10:25
Multipurpose Room, Embassy
[50% English, 50% French]
Dear media professionals, thank you for joining us today at the U.S. Embassy and at the Douala Embassy Branch Office.
Every year on World Press Freedom Day, we take this occasion to evaluate and reflect on the state of press freedom around the world.
This year’s theme is “Shaping a future of rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all human rights.”
Promoting democracy, good governance, and respect for human rights is at the center of U.S. foreign policy and a free press is vital to human progress, to advancing human rights. We believe all governments must protect and promote the rights of a free press and the safety of journalists.
Here at the U.S. Embassy, we are committed to supporting media freedom and freedom of expression through exchange programs, professional training, and media literacy workshops.
A free press has the power to expose abuse, hold leaders accountable, and empower individuals with the kind of information they need to have meaningful influence on their society.
That means you. The work each of you does every day to inform the Cameroonian people is incredibly important. You should be proud of the critical work you are doing, sometimes even at the risk to your personal safety.
I understand that this is a very tough time for journalists in Cameroon, particularly because of economic challenges and the threats that journalists are facing.
And I recognize that your work is even more difficult after the murder of your colleague Martinez Zogo. Once again, my sincere condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.
Finally, I’d like to thank our two speakers of the day, Mr. Georges Alain Boyomo and Mr. Kini Nsom, both experienced Cameroonian journalists and former fellows of U.S. government-sponsored exchange and training programs for journalists. They will lead today’s discussion about how to promote freedom of the press and how to manage the many challenges you all face.
I wish you all a fruitful discussion today.
We are together/On est ensemble.