Yesterday, Mongolia commemorated World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness for the importance of press freedom, promote independent and pluralistic media, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

“The theme of World Press Freedom Day 2016 ‘Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms – This is your Right!’ is applauded by Mongolian civil society for its relevance towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16.10.,” said Kh.Naranjargal, director of Globe International Center.

Mongolia’s ranking in the 2016 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) on April 20, has fallen five places (60 out of 180 countries) compared to last year’s incredible jump to 54, a leap of 34 places. Mongolia’s ranking of its legal environment was impacted by problematic policy and enforcement.

“The state media’s transformation from to raise awareness for the importance of press freedom, promote  government mouthpieces to public services in recent years and the creation of the first Media Council in February 2015 have improved the environment for the media,” says RWB, “But still very imperfect media legislation, which criminalizes defamation and encourages self-censorship, has weakened the virtuous circle that has existed since 2014.”

Through Globe International, Director Kh.Naranjargal encourages the promotion of free media that serves the public’s interests and guarantees people’s right to access of information and to their fundamental freedoms.

Through the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in June 1968, Mongolia created an open society enabling people to freely access information. The Mongolian government has taken active measures to promote the freedom of the press. It passed the Law on Information Transparency and the Right to Information in 2011 and the Glass Account Law to provide transparency in government bodies and to publicize information related to state budget and finances, human resources, and procurement.