UNDP, UNESCO Welcome Roadmap for Free Press in
October 26, 2004
A national conference on Media Law and Policy Reform adopted last Saturday an ambitious plan of action to guarantee press freedom in the country. The final conference statement called upon the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) to continue working with all involved stakeholders.
During the three-day conference, more than 140 journalists and media representatives, government officials, international and regional media NGO,s and civil society debated in the Liberian capital, Monrovia the challenges of a free press. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Information, Cultural & Tourism, the Press Union of Liberia in collaboration with UNDP, UNESCO and the Partnership on Media and Conflict Prevention in West Africa.
The participants recognized that a free and independent media is a prerequisite for a well functioning democracy and good governance. The meeting also emphasized that only a free and professional media can contribute to ensure transparency and accountability in a democracy.
Therefore, the final statement of the conference appealed to donors and the international community to support the building capacity of the Liberian media and stressed the necessity of local ownership in this endeavor.
“This process is an essential part of the Result Focused Transitional Framework (RFTF) which is the work plan of the Transitional Government of Liberia,” said UNDP Country Director Steven Ursino in his closing remarks. “It entails fostering public dialogue, encouraging freedom of expression and promoting confidence in democratic institutions through functioning and independent media,” he concluded.
The organizing UN agencies UNDP and UNESCO drew attention to the importance of results of the Liberian Conference on Media Law and Policy Reform in the light of the run Bup elections in Liberia in October 2005.