According to Annan's message, some 136 journalists were captured throughout the world in 2003 merely for the nature of their profession.
The world annually celebrates the World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd.
"The World Press Freedom Day mainly marks the collaboration between correspondents and their role in the age of information, specifically in supporting the human rights and promoting development.
"During the occasion, the journalists killed on duty or captured and prosecuted on account of the reports they have filed should be commemorated and we should all pay tribute to them," added the message.
Quoting Annan, it further said that 36 journalists were killed in 2003 and at least 17 others were murdered in the first quarter of 2004.
"As a profession, journalism has resisted such threats. However, the constant threats against their professional and personal nobility should be taken into view by everyone.
"The problems facing journalists do not necessarily need to be emergency or shocking problems, while the war in Iraq has been the most major issue calling for equal attention from the press and politicians. Challenges of different type including campaign against poverty, discrimination and disease also require attention," it added.
The message underlined the need to renew the world commitment towards the freedom and independence of the media as a basic requirement for creating a better world, where justice is practiced more widely.
... Payvand News - 5/2/04 ... --