Palestinian Journalists Conclude Safety Training in Jenin, West Bank

Fifteen Palestinian journalists yesterday concluded a three-day training in safety which was organised jointly by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate (PJS) with the support of UNESCO Office in Ramallah.

The workshop which took place in Jenin from 2 - 4 December 2012 brought together seven female and eight male journalists from Nablus, Jenin, Qalqilya and Tulkarem in northern West Bank.

"The safety of journalists remains of paramount importance to the IFJ and we congratulate our Palestinian colleagues on the completion of this workshop," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "We are committed to continuing providing the life-saving skills taught in these courses to many journalists who face security risks in their daily work."

The UNESCO's support for this workshop followed the official launch of the implementation of the UN Action Plan on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity during a meeting held in Vienna on 22 and 23 November 2012. The Plan foresees close partnership between UNESCO and other UN agencies on one hand and journalists' organisations and civil society groups which promote press freedom on the other.

The IFJ supports the UN Action Plan and has agreed to collaborate with UNESCO on the Federation's work such as its safety training programme, including the involvement in IFJ courses of UNESCO local representatives and joint work to disseminate good practice.

In a message read out at the opening of the workshop, the Director of UNESCO Ramallah office, Derek Elias, said that "This workshop can be seen as one of the first concrete applications of the recommendations of this Action Plan. We hope it will be a successful event and we look forward to IFJ's feedback on the proceedings and what we can learn for possible follow up and replication, not only in Palestine but in many other countries where journalists are not yet safe to do their jobs. "

The IFJ welcomes UNESCO involvement in the event even though Palestine is not part of the lead group of nations where the implementation of the UN Plan will start.

"We value UNESCO's partnership in promoting journalists' safety in Palestine, one of the most dangerous regions media professionals," added Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary. "Together we are committed to making journalism safer in every corner of the world."

The Federation has also announced an agreement with the PJS, its affiliate in Palestine, to increase the number of safety workshops for journalists. The two organisations plan to conduct up to eight safety workshops next year for Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza. The Federation will also collaborate with the PJS on a special safety programme designed for students in media schools in Palestine and the region.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 members in 134 countries