Managers and owners of Libyan media outlets have approved a statement, in a UNESCO facilitated convention in Madrid, which outlines their intention to improve professional and ethical standards, and implement internal policies accordingly.
Twenty managers of Libyan television, print, radio and online media, based both inside the country and abroad, have committed in a statement to “commit to the outcomes of the Rabat Action Plan, with respect to prohibiting incitement to hatred in all its forms and to discrimination, hostility and violence as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with emphasis on articles 19, and adhere to the principles of freedom of expression and privacy for all those who work in media institutions,” according to UNSMIL website.
The statement builds on the previous agreement reached in the first meeting of media owners and managers in Madrid in July. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain sponsored the event in accordance with UNESCO Tripoli Project Office, with support from the embassy of the United States of America and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The representative of the UNESCO in Libyan, Michael Croft, described the event as a meaningful example of cooperation among Libyans, specifically among a critical sector. He addressed the attenders promising them to work with them and whoever in the field who would want to move towards professional standards.
Recalling the principles agreed to in the first meeting, the participants outlined actions to be taken in establishing and making public clear editorial and right to reply policies, improving contractual arrangements for journalists and strengthening professional standards within their outlets.
The document calls on all Libyan media colleagues to join the effort to “create peace and heal the rifts among the Libyan people.
The manager of Libya’s Channel, Nabil Shebani, praised the four-day event and stressed that media professionals support and follow this document, to both empower the process and ensure its implementation.
Salmah Al Shaab of the Tripoli Journalists Syndicate, called for continued UNESCO support for the media, especially in linking Libyan media managers with similar regional and international experience to move the discourse in the sector towards international standards of freedom of expression.