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Second seminar of Libyan media at Casa Árabe

Concluding with a statement in which owners and directors of the participating media reject the discourse of hate and inciting violence.

October 29, 2015
On Thursday, October 29, the seminar “When the Media Make Peace: Exploring the roles and responsibilities of the media during a conflict” ended at Casa Árabe in Madrid. It was organized by UNESCO with the cooperation of Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Casa Árabe and the US State Department.

Taking part in the seminar were journalists and publishers of Libyan media of different political orientations, as well as experts from UNESCO and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). For four days, they debated over how responsibly performing their work can promote the necessary understanding to get Libyan parties to reach a political agreement that puts an end to the current crisis.

Among the meeting’s objectives were to promote quality management in the Libyan media; putting procedures into practice to ensure freedom of expression and opinion; vigilance against the discourse of hatred; optimizing human and financial resources, and identifying the basic needs to allow for the development of a broad program to assist the Libyan media in 2016.

This second edition was officially opened on October 26 by the State Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ignacio Ybáñez, who, in his speech, emphasized the serious humanitarian situation which is deteriorating in Libya each day and the increase in terrorist activity, as well as the extreme urgency in finding a solution, for which there is no alternative but a political agreement to create a democratic, peaceful Libya that maintains its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and economic development. Therefore, Spain continues to support mediation by the United Nations.

The SEAEX brought up the efforts made by Spain to contribute to a way out of the crisis in Libya, examples of which include the international conference held in Madrid in September 2014, and the organization of these two seminars with the media.

Last of all, Ybáñez, wishing them the best of success for their work in Madrid, underlined to the representatives of the Libyan media that democracy means a plurality of opinions, debate and political confrontation, as well as respect for others’ freedom to express their differing opinion, and he reminded them of their role, essential to peace and democracy, as transmitters of truthful, independent information.

The event ended with the signing of a statement (English / Arabic) in which the participating media owners and directors reject the discourse of hatred and inciting violence while undertaking to exercise the profession of journalism in an impartial, responsible manner and to disseminate truthful, verified information.

This statement of principles complements that adopted during the first seminar, held during the month of July at Casa Árabe in Madrid, which ended with the “Madrid Declaration,” in which journalists and owners of Libyan media from the widest range of political sympathies reached a series of common points in their rejection of violence and the discourse of hatred, agreeing to comply with a series of ethical and professional guidelines in their work to provide information.
Second seminar of Libyan media at Casa Árabe