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Government, UN Organise Media Orientation Workshop on Human Rights and SDGs

By Monicah Aturinda, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator

The United Nations in Uganda, in collaboration with Government entities responsible for coordinating SDGs implementation, organised a one-day Media Orientation workshop on the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Human Rights for journalists to fully understand and actively contribute to building public awareness about human rights-based approach to planning and implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Vision 2040.

The workshop which attracted 50 journalists from print, radio, television and online media in Uganda was held on 2 May 2019 at Protea Hotel, Kampala as part of World Press Freedom Day commemoration, which is observed globally on 3 May every year.

While speaking at the workshop Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut, Minister for General Duties, who is responsible for coordinating SDGs implementation in Uganda said that the media is a key player in popularising the SDGs in Uganda since they have power to influence public opinion.

“Media can contribute to achieving the SDGs by talking and writing about them in a simpler way so that the local population understands what the SDGs are all about and know how they can contribute to achieving them, said Hon. Karooro.

In regard to Press Freedom Day, the Minister encouraged the media to choose carefully what messages they put out to the public. “You need to be careful on what topics are published on the different media platforms because people have a lot of faith in the media and they always take whatever the media says as gospel truth. So, make sure the message you put out is constructive for your audience” added Hon. Karooro.

The SDGs are a result of the most consultative and inclusive process in the history of the United Nations, hearing from people from all walks of life and all corners of the world.

“Empowering people to seek accountability for implementation of the goals is a collective responsibility and as media professionals understand the linkages between human rights and the SDGs the in order to communicate better on human rights and the SDGs,” said Mr. Ali Abdi , Acting UN Resident Coordinator and IOM Chief of Mission.

“I am glad that we are invited to this SDGs workshop because many times, new programmes are introduced without involving the media and they are called last minute to give coverage on a particular event and yet they don’t have enough information about the issue hence making shallow reports,” said Amos Ngwomoya, senior reporter from Daily Monitor Newspaper.

He added even when they are not She also highlighted the critical need to track progress and share best practices and that global development priorities should be cascaded to the regional levels.

The 2030 Agenda, adopted in September 2015 by Heads of State, sets out 17 Goals for humanity, and clearly makes reference to the agenda and its implementation being grounded in human rights law. The SDGs are the result of the most consultative and inclusive process in the history of the United Nations, hearing from people from all walks of life and all corners of the world.

The Agenda marked a paradigm shift towards a more transformative model for sustainable development aiming to secure freedom from fear and freedom from want for all, without discrimination. The Agenda is universally applicable for all people in all countries.

UN Agencies in Uganda