UN and media step up on development activities
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.