The international community recently marked World Press Freedom Day. It is a reminder that nations should come together to support the fundamental principle of press freedom, defend the media from challenges to its independence, and recognize journalists for that independence and their role in imparting information and ideas – sometimes at risk to their lives.
It is important that each government do its utmost to protect press freedom and freedom of expression. Both the United States and Kuwaiti constitutions enshrine freedom of the press and expression as essential to the functioning of our societies. Kuwaitis should be proud of their free and active press, vibrant civil society, and the most democratic parliament in the region. The idea of people coming together to share ideas, values, and opinions is a cornerstone of a thriving, modern democratic society – and it is a foundation of Kuwaiti society, in part through the unique institution of the diwaniya.
International organizations have credited Kuwait for its freedoms, but the country’s international ranking on measures of press freedom has declined during the past decade. The international community looks to Kuwait, as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to prevent erosion of press freedom and to preserve its platform for citizens to express their thoughts and debate points of contention.
We encourage the government, legislature, civil society and members of the press to work together to promote Kuwait’s core values of freedom of expression and the existence of a vibrant and free media.
By Lawrence R. Silverman,
US Ambassador to Kuwait