UN and me­dia step up on de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

Dur­ing the first ever two days One United Na­tions Me­dia Work­shop on 14 and 15 Novem­ber in Paro, the UN Bhutan called a strong need for a me­dia part­ner­ship to par­tic­i­pate ac­tively in de­vel­op­ment is­sues.

The work­shop aims to en­gage more closely with me­dia as part of a new part­ner­ship to­wards achiev­ing the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDG).

The rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the eight res­i­dent UN agen­cies and Bhutanese jour­nal­ists in­ter­acted to col­lab­o­rate and work to­gether in pro­mot­ing and achiev­ing the de­vel­op­ment goals of the coun­try.

The me­dia must work in tan­dem with UN, if the coun­try is to see durable peace and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. This com­mit­ment was con­firmed at the clos­ing state­ment by the UN Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor, Ger­ald Daly.

In his state­ment, Ger­ald Daly said that the me­dia mat­ters for UN global goal to achieve by 2030. He said, “Story telling by the me­dia brings about so­cial change and in­spires peo­ple to aim for higher qual­ity of life.”

Un­der­scor­ing the role of jour­nal­ists as cen­tral in achiev­ing de­vel­op­ment goals, he called me­dia the fourth state of so­ci­ety. Ger­ald Daly said the peo­ple of Bhutan are be­ing sig­nif­i­cantly in­flu­enced by the work of jour­nal­ists. He said, “Your clear na­ture roles ed­u­cate the pub­lic ir­re­spec­tive of age, ed­u­ca­tion back­ground and lan­guage.”

The UN says the me­dia in Bhutan has played an im­por­tant role in fa­cil­i­tat­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion of peo­ple in devel­op­men­tal ac­tiv­i­ties. “This work­shop is an ex­am­ple of our com­mit­ments to the ca­pac­ity build­ing,” Ger­ald Daly said. “We see an ed­u­cated pub­lic as a key el­e­ment in self-re­liant.”

The UN urged con­crete ar­eas to en­hance de­vel­op­ment jour­nal­ism. The clos­ing state­ment also con­firmed the UN com­mit­ment to rec­og­nize de­vel­op­ment jour­nal­ism in the coun­try through the best de­vel­op­ment story. Ger­ald Daly said, “We would like to in­sert a U-cat­e­gory of best story on de­vel­op­ment in the an­nual jour­nal­ism award or­ga­nized by Jour­nal­ists As­so­ci­a­tion of Bhutan.”

Ger­ald Daly said the UN wants to sup­port jour­nal­ism in Bhutan. “The award is to rec­og­nize the best story on de­vel­op­ment,” he said, adding the im­por­tance of the role of de­vel­op­ment jour­nal­ism that is hap­pen­ing in Bhutan.

The par­tic­i­pants wel­comed the ini­tia­tive as an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to achieve the global de­vel­op­ment goals.

The UN Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor also high­lighted the rel­e­vance of SDG 13, fo­cused on tak­ing ur­gent ac­tion to com­bat cli­mate change and its im­pacts. In this con­text, he said cli­mate change is real and it is hap­pen­ing. He said, “We need Bhutanese peo­ple to be ex­pert on cli­mate ac­tion in Bhutan. We need to be self re­liant.”

In the mar­gins of this work­shop, he also un­der­lined on mind and heart de­vel­op­ment, ex­plain­ing that the re­cent project to pro­vide 200 elec­tric ve­hi­cles is to re­duce pol­lu­tion into the coun­try's de­vel­op­ment strat­egy frame­work.

If the project suc­cess, Ger­ald Daly said, the UN would ini­ti­ate the project in other part of the coun­try. “We can bring down the pol­lu­tion rates through this project and strengthen the pri­vate sec­tor,” he said, adding this builds self-re­liant.

The 2030 agenda for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment aimed at leav­ing no one be­hind. The UN Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor said, “We the UN strives to do trans­for­ma­tive de­vel­op­ment to en­sure no one is left be­hind.”

The Di­rec­tor of the United Na­tions In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre for In­dia and Bhutan, Derk Se­gaar fa­cil­i­tated the work­shop and led a ses­sion on de­vel­op­ment jour­nal­ism for the par­tic­i­pants.

Derk Se­gaar ex­plained that the de­vel­op­ment jour­nal­ism is in-depth and well-re­searched sto­ries about de­vel­op­ment is­sues in the coun­try.

Derk Se­gaar also said the UN is in­ter­ested to work in part­ner­ship with the me­dia to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion. He said, “The UN work a lot on the ground with com­mu­ni­ties. They have ac­cess to data and in­for­ma­tion.”

The work­shop en­abled to pro­mote and make joint ef­forts to work to- wards the 2030 de­vel­op­ment Agenda.

The UN res­i­dent agen­cies in Bhutan high­lighted their in­ter­est in co­op­er­at­ing on con­crete ini­tia­tives to pro­mote sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment on best prac­tices.

The eight res­i­dent UN agen­cies in Bhutan in­cludes Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion (FAO), United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP), United Na­tions Pop­u­la­tion Fund (UNFPA), United Na­tions Chil­dren's Fund (UNICEF), United Na­tions Of­fice on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United Na­tions Women (UN Women), World Food Pro­gramme (WFP) and World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO).

The One United Na­tions Me­dia Work­shop was ini­ti­ated by the UN Bhutan in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Jour­nal­ists As­so­ci­a­tion of Bhutan (JAB).

The UN Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor, Ger­ald Daly, said that United Na­tions in Bhutan will hon­our de­vel­op­ment jour­nal­ism in the coun­try ev­ery year through the Best De­vel­op­ment Story Award. The new award would be given at the an­nual Jour­nal­ists As­so­ci­a­tion of Bhutan (JAB) Awards.

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