Mogadishu: The Deputy Prime Minister of the Somali government, Deputy Minister of Information, Upper House, the office of the Attorney General and the Governor of Banadir region has attended the first day of the conference.
The Ministers of Information of the regional states, leaders of the Somali media associations, the civil society organizations and the stakeholders of the Somali media were also present at the conference.
On April 21, 2018; the first day of the International Conference on the safety of journalists, the existing procedures of the safety of journalists and the membership committee of all shareholders in the Somali media have been discussed.
Following lengthy debate shared by all the participants of the conference resulted in strengthening the unification of all the efforts focusing on protection of the journalists.
The Somali Media Association (SOMA) attending the conference has presented information on the existing safety mechanisms for the journalists; and the participants of the conference have welcomed the existing procedures for the safety of the journalists that have been partially implemented in Somalia.
Presentation on the media association operational in the country have been made; that receive support from IMS and UNESCO, while SOMA has significantly appreciated IMS,SMSG and UNESCO ; who has played major role in assisting the Somali media.
The outcome of the conference
A National Coordinating Committee has been established, comprising of the government, the Civil Society and the Independent Media.
The Committee is consisting of 11 members that are: four members from the government, four members from the Independent Media and 3 members of the civil society.
A member from the government has been elected as the Chairperson of the Committee, member from the civil society has been elected as deputy chairperson and member from the independent media has been elected as the Secretary of the Committee.
Also, the conference has prepared a complete plan of activities which the committee will undertake.
SOMA and MAP have presented information on the safety of the journalists they have prepared; which will assist the committee to monitor the security situation of the journalists.
The Somali Media Association (SOMA) supported by IMS/FOJO and UNESCO has developed safety protocol for the media; which will assist the media outlets to protect the journalists’ safety and rights, SOMA has presented 12 principles of safety protocol to be used by the media outlets to protect the safety of the journalists.
Furthermore, MAP assisted by IMS/FOJO has presented a booklet Safety Manual of Journalists prepared by them which will be printed in due course, and will assist the journalists on how to protect his/her safety.
At the end of the conference, John Bosco from UNESCO has welcomed the outcome of the conference and said: “I am very pleased that a good result has come out of the conference that a committee was established which is important for the safety of the Somali journalists. John has advised the committee to conduct their first meeting, and initiate activities early, and assured they will support in conducting the priorities.
Finally, the acting Minister of Information/the Deputy Minister of Information concluded the conference; the Minister thanked everyone taking part in organizing the conference. The Minister welcomed the outcome of the conference.
The Minister has launched the new committee established today that Somalia will have starting from today.