JULY 19, 2010: Joint Statement By The African Union Commission And The African Editors' Forum

Joint Statement By The African Union Commission And The African Editors' Forum

SOURCE: The African Editors' Forum

Addis Ababa — The African Editors’ Forum (TAEF) and the African Union Commission, held a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, yesterday in the context of the Year of Peace and Security.

The Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) on August 31 2009, in declaring 2010 to be the Year of Peace and Security on the continent, stated:

“We are determined to deal once and for all with the scourge of conflicts and violence on our continent, acknowledging our shortcomings and errors, committing our resources and our best people, and missing no opportunity to push forward the agenda of conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction.

"We, as leaders, simply cannot bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans.”

The two organizations said the Year of Peace and Security therefore signified an unprecedented opportunity for all sectors in Africa to strengthen peace efforts on the continent while celebrating achievements of the past decade.

It also allows all Africans, from leaders to citizens, to contribute to the achievement of conflict-free environments – especially on the International Day of Peace (Peace Day) on September 21.

TAEF and the Commission agreed to work together to promote the campaign. The Commission emphasized that the AU respected the freedom and ethics of the media to report freely in all areas, including conflict zones.

TAEF on their part, said that the campaign could popularize the work of the AU around peace and security in Africa, while showing how the absence of peace and security prevents journalists from doing their work of informing, educating and entertaining.

The two organizations agreed:

1. TAEF’s biannual general meeting, which is the biggest gathering of editors on the continent, would include a day’s dialogue on peace and security between editors and the AU. The meeting will be held in Bamako, Mali in October.

2. The Commission would make sure all future communiqués on peace and security were made available to TAEF for distribution through its network, and facilitate access to envoys who could speak to the media.

3. The Commission would interact with editors in African countries on an on-going basis.

4. The Commission would make every effort to take African journalists to visit areas where peace-making and peace-keeping missions are active.

5. The Commission would encourage its peace ambassadors to contribute to the campaign through articles written for the media.

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