On 17 December, UNESCO organized the third of a series of training sessions for members of the newly created national mechanism for the safety of journalists in Palestine.
The national mechanism, which is focused on strengthening monitoring and reporting on attacks against journalists, was launched with UNESCO’s support on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (2 November 2019). Under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Palestine, it brings together representatives of relevant ministries, civil society organizations and the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS).
The training session gathered representatives from five ministries – Information, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Justice and Social Development -, NGOs and the PJS, who were familiarized with the United Nations Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists. The training also provided practical tips on how to improve reporting on attacks against journalists, in particular within the framework of the UNESCO Director-General’s annual report on the safety of journalists and when assessing progress in the implementation of Sustainable Development Indicator 16.10, Target 1, which deals with journalists’ safety.
Nasser Abu Baker, Head of PJS, stated that the collaboration with UNESCO on this initiative constitutes an important step in addressing the many risks that journalists in Palestine face on a daily basis.
Saorla McCabe, Programme Specialist on Freedom of Expression at UNESCO, who delivered the training, reminded participants of the importance of concerted and coordinated efforts between national authorities and civil society to ensure optimal reporting. “Overall, multi-stakeholder responses are needed to address the complexity of safety at all levels – from prevention and protection to monitoring and reporting”, she stated.
UNESCO organized previous training sessions for members and partners of the national safety mechanism in November in both the West Bank and Gaza, in cooperation with Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and local NGOs.