UN: UN says journalists vital to LCDs' growth, development

New York, US (PANA) - More than two dozen journalists from the world's least
developed countries (LCDs) are in Antalya, Turkey, to report on a UN conference
focusing on the state of their homelands, and to ensure that key messages are
disseminated as widely through their local news outlets, the UN said on
Saturday.

Ms. Aminata Charlotte Seck, an editor for a monthly women's magazine in
Senegal, said she was particularly interested to hear about the "impressive"
statistics shared by Rwanda, regarding its progress made over the past five
years.

A UN statement obtained by PANA in New York, quoted Ms. Seck, as saying:
"This conference brings a lot of hope, and we (reporters) have to tell this
story what is happening here, so people know what is being done here to
improve growth in the least developed countries."

She also noted that being at the conference is an opportunity to learn more
about other countries, and different continents, as well as report about their
growth and development.

On his part, Koang Pal Chang, a South Sudanese reporter, who works for
Eye Radio, said: "This is a rare opportunity for me and the radio station,
which has about one million listeners in South Sudan."

"Some of the journalists have never heard of South Sudan. I have heard
of all these countries, but I have also never had a chance to meet their
people face to face and to hear about their countries, what they are doing,
to see how far they have gone and what are some things we share in
common," he said.

Mr. Chang, however, said that being at the conference means he can also
tell the people of South Sudan what being an LDC means and about the
way forward to try and reach some of the goals of the 10-year plan.

“Currently the situation is bad in terms of fighting in most parts of South
Sudan, and most of the population is displaced either in UN camps or in
neighbouring countries." he lamented.

Regarding South Sudan's indicators of progress, he said that, "the data
is zero, with nothing yet, and we were just starting to come out of war
and then we went back to war. But for me, being here, it is an opportunity
to learn from this review conference."

South Sudan is the latest country to have joined the list in 2012, after
becoming an independent nation in 2011.

Similarly, Ms. Maribel Ibule Djole, a writer for the Equatorial Guinean
media outlet "Ebano", said all the journalists coming from LDCs have
been showing great solidarity and support to complete their work.

"I am happy to be here alongside journalists like me from other places
because we have the same objectives. We have been helping each
other, whether we are from Africa or Asia, we all come from countries
that experience challenges.

"We have an important role to play, and together, we can succeed,"
she said, adding how surprised she was to discover she would be
coming to Turkey, a feeling she described as "exciting".

Meanwhile, Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, the UN High Representative
for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries,
and Small Island States, said that many of the reporters came to the
conference having little information about what an LDC was, despite
their own countries being part of that group.

He said: "I think that speaks for itself that there is a need for more
awareness about this conference at the national level, as well as
across all sectors.The journalists present here will be able to really
take the messages from here to their countries."

"Another important part is that when they go back, they will be
following up on the conference and these activities, but also about
the Istanbul Programme of Action in general and the UN activities
as a whole.So I think it is very important," he said.

The UN official said on Sunday, the Midterm Review is expected to
adopt an outcome document paving the way towards the
achievement of more goals for LDCs, a moment, he noted that,
many of the journalists said they are awaiting with great
anticipation.

The Midterm Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA),
which begun on Friday, is focused on assessing what least
developed countries (LDCs) have achieved since the 10-year plan
was adopted in 2011.

It aims to give impetus to economic and social development in the
48 countries that currently meet the LDC criteria (IPoA), and thus
receive special international support.

The three-day event, co-hosted by the UN and the Turkish
government, underlined that, while progress has been made in
some of the LDCs, many still face significant challenges that
need to be addressed at the national level with the support of
donors.

The UN estimates that 51 per cent of the population of LDCs,
almost 500 million people still lives in extreme poverty, with 18
million children of school age not getting an education and
exports from LCDs only accounting for 1.1 per cent of the global
total.
-0-  PANA  AA  28May2016

28 may 2016 19:05:05




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