Jordan's prime minister says the Arab Spring has forced governments in the region to allow more freedom of expression and of the press.

Abdullah Ensour said at a meeting of the Geneva-based International Press Institute on Monday that Jordan has "come a long way" in improving both legislation governing press freedoms and the standards of a national media still reeling under long years of state censorship.

"Obviously, we're not yet where we want to be, but we are determined to continue," he added.

Jordanian participants at the conference had complained of a controversial press and publications law blamed for significantly restricting press freedoms by placing harsh penalties on violators, ultimately forcing journalists to practice self-censorship.

The IPI began its two-day annual World Congress meeting in Jordan on Monday.