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Use of languages helps communities to participate in political, Socio-Economic discourse; UNESCO

Yambio, (May 30th 2023) – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) country’s Representative, Julius Banda urged the media to champion the use of languages in the news production and programming as a means to empower communities with accurate information.

Banda who impressively shared his remarks in Azande language implored participants in Yambio not only to embrace it as a portrayal of culture but as a tool for participation in the political, social and economic life of building a nation.

“Cultural rights such as the right to artistic freedom and creative expression are deeply entwined with freedom of expression and freedom of expression is a necessary condition for the realization of the principles of transparency and accountability that are, in turn, essential for the promotion and protection of human rights,” Banda said.

Majak Daniel Kuany Alier, Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) Secretary General, said UNESCO is a strong partner to the union in promoting freedom of expression and access to information, noting that the journalists’ body is grateful for the continuous support toward the realization of the media independence and pluralism.

“As a union, we are so pleased to receive this tremendous support from UNESCO. UJOSS believe sound journalists usher sound democracy and it is the UJOSS obligation to envision the building of inclusive knowledge societies underpinned by universal access to information and innovative use of digital technologies,” Majak told the gathering in Yambio.

Fidelite, UNMISS field office representative, shared a statement issued by the UN secretary-general who said journalists go to the most dangerous places to give voice to the voiceless.

“The safety of journalists is not just a question of personal safety but a question of safety and health of the entire society. It is a moral purgative. It is a question to all of us so that we do what is possible to protect them,” Fidelite said.

She said every threat to a journalist is a dangerous attack on freedom of information, opinion and expression, noting that it is a matter of rights that belong to everyone in the country.

Pia Philip Michael, the undersecretary at the National Ministry of Peace Building, who graced the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day as a special invited guest, said journalists are agents of peace because they play a critical role in helping the country to rebuild.

“Journalists play a key role in educating communities about various topics that matter to their day-to-day way of life, so journalists need to continue to help amplify the provisions of the peace agreement,” Michael said. 

the Governor of Western Equatoria, Alfred Futiyo Karaba while addressing the occasion at Tourist Hotel Yambio, Western Equatoria State applauded the courageous role the media and journalists are playing to disseminate information to the locals in the state.

“Journalists should not divide along the political parties in the state. It is the role of the journalists to educate masses on the importance of peaceful coexistence, love and harmony for Western Equatoria to nurture everlasting dividends of stability,” Futiyo said.

 On May 3rd, the Union of Journalists of South Sudan commemorated World Press Freedom in Yambio, Western Equatoria state through a support from UNESCO.

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