Mar 9, 2009, 6:43 AM
At least thirty participants from the sub region are currently taking part in a three-day sub-regional workshop organised by The Gambia Press Union (
The workshop, which among other objectives, seeks to create awareness for journalists on their role in the preservation and promotion of peace and human rights, improving and broadening the capacity of journalists on human rights and peace issues, will later today be followed by the first edition of the (WAJA) Excellence Award 2008.
The award ceremony, to be hosted by the
Declaring the workshop open on Tuesday, Madam Fatim Badjie-Janneh, Secretary of State for Communication, Information and Information Technology underscored the important roles of journalists in the promotion of peace and prevention of conflicts, adding that the workshop is coming at an appropriate time.
"Over the past decades, we have seen and witnessed human rights abuses and conflicts around the world particularly in
"Therefore, it is time for journalists to negate this stigma and positively contribute to peace building, conflict prevention, peace keeping and promotion of human rights", she said.
Secy. Badjie-Janneh went on to highlight government's recognition of the importance and relevance of the journalist to nation building.
She commended the
In her welcoming remarks, Ms Ndey Tapha Sosseh, President of the Gambia Press Union, noted that the
"We believe that journalists are key stakeholders in building conflict free zones, preserving the peace and promoting peaceful initiatives and at all times upholding the principles of human rights as enshrined in our national constitutions and international human rights instruments that our governments are signatory to," she added.
For his part, Ibrahim Famakan Coulibally, President of WAJA expressed his association's resolve to always build the capacity of journalists and promote freedom of the media.
He however called on its partners to always support WAJA, which he described as the only and most important professional organisation of journalists in
Mr. Coulibally appealed to governments to release all journalists who are currently under detention and carry out investigation of cases involving the murder of journalists.