African Journalists' Leaders Back Global Unions' Stand over Workers' Rights at UN Climate Change Summit

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its African group, the

Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) today joined the International Trade

Union Confederation (ITUC) to demand recognition of workers' rights at the

United Nations Climate Change Summit 2011, COP 17 / CMP 7 which is taking place

in Durban, South Africa.

"We

welcome the participation of African journalists' leaders in this important

debate on shaping the future of our lives and livelihoods," said Beth Costa,

IFJ General Secretary. "Climate change has far reaching implications for

workers' rights, including journalists'. It is entirely appropriate that our

African members join forces with the ITUC to make the strongest case for

workers."

The

IFJ African group, the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), backed the ITUC

which today denounced the decision of the UN Framework Convention on Climate

Change (UNFCCC) to hold the 2012 UN Climate change Talks in Qatar. In a

statement, the ITUC said that the announcement "sent waves of concern through

labour unions around the world as Qatar has been a permanent barrier in climate

negotiations."

"We

shall oppose any attempts to shut out the voice of workers, including

journalists, in these discussions and Qatar has a poor record on workers'

rights," said Omar Faruk Osman, FAJ President who is leading the IFJ and FAJ

delegation to the Summit in Durban.

The

FAJ also says African journalists have a crucial role to provide accessible

information to peoples on the continent about climate change talks and urged

the UNFCCC to facilitate their work in this regard.

"Climate

change is of paramount importance to peoples in Africa but there is an alarming

failure to communicate and lack of advocacy which impact on the public

awareness of the subject," added Osman. "African journalists have a pivotal

role in informing the public on climate change and holding governments to

account over their environmental policies."

The

FAJ in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) will hold in Durban a

major conference of journalists' unions leaders under the theme of "African

Journalists & their Role in Tackling the Perils of Climate Change" during

the Summit.

 For more

information contact the IFJ/FAJ at    +27 786 971 738

 The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 131

countries worldwide

 The FAJ represents over 50,000 journalists in 40

countries in Africa