UNESCO holds a two-day workshop for duty bearers in Juba on the role of media during the constitution making process

Director Generals from the Ministry of Information, Information Commissioner and UNESCO Country Representative pose for a group photo at the start of the 2-day workshop for duty bearers in Juba © UNESCO

UNESCO together with the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) and the National Ministry for Information, Communication, Telecommunication and Postal Services organized a two-day workshop to strengthen capacities for duty bearers on the role of media during the constitution making process.

The workshop drew participants from all the 10 States and the 3 Administrative areas of Abyei, Pibor and Ruweng respectfully, among the participants were 10 Director Generals, representatives from the National Constitutional Review Commission, academia, media managers and media development partners.

Speaking at the workshop, Hon. Moyiga Nduru, Information Commissioner, cautioned the participants not to ignore journalists and see them as an after-thought during the constitution making process, but rather work hand in hand with the media at all levels of the process in order to achieve the goal of having a people-driven and inclusive permanent Constitution in South Sudan. Hon. Nduru also, emphasized that the media is the fourth arm of the State and as such it plays a critical role in our communities and ensuring access to information.

UNESCO Representative to South Sudan, Mr. Julius Banda in his opening remarks emphasized the important role Director Generals play to encourage the free flow of information and ideas by word or image.

The Executive Director for Association for Media Development, Mr. Michael Duku said while the bill is being discussed, the media has a role to disseminate information to the public about the constitution making process and the state in turn needs to protect the journalists while doing their work.

Training of the duty bearers is in response with support to implementation of activities under chapter VI of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan that seeks to ensure that all voices are heard during the process. Article 6.13 states “the process of the permanent constitution-making shall be led and owned by the people of South Sudan”. Hence, UNESCO and the Association for Media Development in South Sudan have launched a series of engagements targeting duty bearers.

This activity has been made possible with support from the UN Peace Building Fund that seeks to support a people-driven and gender responsive permanent constitution making process in South Sudan.