Press release

National Mechanism for Monitoring Safety of Journalists in Palestine launched on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

Ramallah, 3 November 2019 – Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, Prime Minister of Palestine, UNESCO’s National Office for Palestine, in cooperation with the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, relevant ministries and civil society organizations, has launched a national mechanism for monitoring the safety of journalists.

The aim of this mechanism is to strengthen monitoring and reporting on safety of journalists, including reporting on killings of journalists and their judicial follow-up. It also aims to support Palestine’s reporting on the safety of journalists within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular SDG indicator 16.10.1. As a multi-stakeholder initiative, it brings together representatives of government, civil society and media syndicates.

Junaid Sorosh-Wali, Officer-in-Charge and Head of the UNESCO National Office for Palestine, stated in his opening remarks that UNESCO’s initiative to support the establishment of such a mechanism in Palestine builds upon the successful activities that UNESCO has been supporting in the country to promote the safety of journalists in recent years. These include capacity building for journalists and security forces on freedom of expression and journalists’ safety; piloting a model course on journalists’ safety in universities across the West Bank and Gaza; and supporting the creation of a network of safety focal points within news organizations.

Mr. Ibrahim Milhem, the Government Spokesperson, and appointed by Prime Minister as Government Focal Point for Safety of Journalists, highlighted the full support of the Prime Minister and the government to the national mechanism.

Nasser Abu Baker, Head of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate stated that UNESCO and the Syndicate have taken a very important step towards improving safety of journalists by launching this mechanism, which will strengthen capacities to report violence against journalists.

UNESCO presented the set-up of the mechanism and the roles of the partners and highlighted the Organization’s readiness to provide further assistance towards the strengthening of this mechanism, including through capacity building and the sharing of good practices.

The event was also an occasion to hand over certificates to acknowledge the participation of representatives of local partner organizations and ministries in a training on UNESCO guidelines on reporting on safety of journalists.The activity is part of a global project titled ‘Strengthening National Monitoring and Reporting Mechanisms for Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity’, funded by the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

 

For more information on UNESCO’s activities in Palestine, please visit our facebook page: UNESCO Ramallah Office

For more information on this event, please contact: Hala Tannous, Communication and Information Focal Point of the UNESCO Ramallah Office, at h.tannous@unesco.org