Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Stakeholders working to improve media practice and contributions to
regional peace and security in West Africa have launched new initiatives aimed at making the press a tool for stability.
The initiatives, which were elaborated during a two-day meeting on "Media, Peace and Security in West Africa," which ended on Friday in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, would address shortcomings in the regional media practice, especially on the adherence to ethical requirements.
They would also assist in the building of media capacity to improve their professional practice and contributions towards instituting a culture of peace and leverage the support of international organisations, an ECOWAS Commission statement said.
"A free, independent and professional media is the bedrock of democracy and the guarantor of the rule of law and human rights, both of which are inseparable from the protection and promotion of a culture of peace," the forum noted in its declaration.
One of the outcomes of Abidjan forum, which was supported by the Government of Cote d'Ivoire and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), was an agreement on the necessity for a network of journalists dedicated to the promotion of a culture of peace to be in the vanguard of the campaign.
Similar fora were held in Cape Verde in May 2011 and Bamako December 2011 and organized by UN Office in West Africa (UNOWA), ECOWAS and partners.
The first forum was dedicated to Elections, Peace and Security in West Africa while the second was on Impunity, Justice and Human Rights.
-0- PANA SEG 18June2012