» Consolidating Peace and Promoting Youth Employment in the Gambia: UNESCO Meets with President Adama Barrow
06.03.2017 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Consolidating Peace and Promoting Youth Employment in the Gambia: UNESCO Meets with President Adama Barrow

©UNESCO

On February 23rd, the Director a.i. of the UNESCO Regional Office for West Africa (Sahel) met with the newly inaugurated President of the Republic of the Gambia Adama Barrow. Recalling the congratulation letter to the President by UNESCO Director-General who assured of UNESCO’s every support within its fields of competence to The Gambia, the Director a.i. of the UNESCO Regional Office underlined the Organization’s continued commitment to supporting the development of the media in the Gambia through providing training and equipment in the framework of an EU-funded media capacity building initiative in the Gambia.

Further underlining the need to revise existing regulatory and legislative frameworks concerning freedom of expression and access to information in the country to align them with international human rights standards, the Director a.i. of the UNESCO Regional Office reiterated the Organization’s commitment to accompany the Gambia in ensuring the development of an independent press and diverse media landscape through the establishment, with international partners, of a platform for dialogue between Government, media, and civil society. Furthermore, he evoked the necessity to reestablish trust between security forces and media professionals in the Gambia, and ensured the President of UNESCO’s commitment to training security forces on the issue of the safety of journalists and freedom of expression in the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

Recognizing the pressing issue of youth empowerment and skills development in the Gambia, the Director a.i. reiterated UNESCO’s readiness to provide support for the transformation of the technical and vocational training system and the acquisition of relevant skills and competencies for life and the world of work in collaboration with development partners.

In response, the President of the Gambia Adama Barrow thanked UNESCO for the Organization’s steadfast support in promoting access to education and human rights, including freedom of expression and access to information, in the country. Underlining the important role media plays in ensuring democracy, President Adama Barrow reiterated his continued commitment to ensuring the development of an independent media landscape in the country through promoting journalism education and a revision of existing laws related to freedom of expression and access to information, and thanked UNESCO for the delivery of equipment in the framework of the media capacity building initiative funded by the European Union in the country and implemented by UNESCO.

President Barrow posited that UNESCO’s mandate is particularly relevant to building peace and sustainable development in the Gambia including in education and culture and appreciated UNESCO’s endeavour to help improve the quality and relevance of education that can contribute to job creation, employment, and socio-economic integration of Gambian youth.




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