Multi-stakeholder safety mechanism for Journalists launched in Somalia

Stakeholders from the media, government, human rights organisations and civil society convened this Saturday 21 April 2018 in Mogadishu, Somalia for a two-day dialogue towards the establishment of a national mechanism for the safety of journalists. After long discussions, have agreed on the structure and governance of the mechanism.

The meeting, which is organized by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, has been supported by UNESCO and other international media actors under their coordination platform known as the Somalia Media Support Group (SMSG). It has taken place at the AMISOM VIP Conference facility, in Mogadishu International Airport, and prescribed a response mechanism to unpunished crimes against journalists in Somalia.

The two-day meeting has, therefore, mobilized the comparative competences of both state and non-state media stakeholders into a dialogue process towards a Multi-stakeholder dialogue forum for safety of journalists to provide the necessary support to the Government in dealing with the issue of impunity for crimes against journalists.

The multi-stakeholder dialogue forum have unanimously voted to establish a National Coordination Committee for the Safety of Journalism which will consist of 11 members which will be distributed as follows:

4 members from the government.
4 members from the private media/media organisation.
3 members will be from the civil society.

The participants agreed that the Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism acts as the Convener of the meetings of the National Mechanism for Safety of Journalists as well as the meetings of the 11 member National Coordination Committee.

The launch of the Somalia Multi-stakeholder platform in Somalia is a follow up to the November 2017 Nairobi Declaration which, among others, called for developing national multi-stakeholder coordination systems bringing on board the three arms of government (Executive, Legislature and Judiciary) and all other media stakeholders with a mandate to promote and defend freedom of expression, press freedom, access to information and safety of journalists; comprehensively addressing the safety of journalists in the respective countries and in line with the national, regional and global resolutions including the resolution 29 of UNESCO General Conference 29th Session, Paris, November 1997” that invited the UNESCO DG to condemn violence against journalists in Member States; and also provide a platform for knowledge sharing and accountability.

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