UN-OHRLLS, through its advocacy mandate has long recognized the key role that journalists from the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS) can play at the national level in disseminating information about key development issues as well as the role of the United Nations in supporting them. However, journalists working in these countries face significant challenges with resources, training, access to information and in some cases reporting under difficult conditions.
From the Office’s experience in interacting with journalists in SIDS, it is clear that coverage of vital issues included in the Sustainable Development Goals, require specific knowledge and training. There is also little visibility of the SAMOA Pathway among journalists but also the general population. This is despite the fact that the SAMOA Pathway is the dedicated programme of action for achieving sustainable development in SIDS.
UN-OHRLLS is implementing a journalism campaign in 2019 for SIDS journalists to improve their knowledge and capacity to report effectively on the SAMOA Pathway and by extension, the linkages with the wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals. The Island Voices journalism campaign originates from the slogan ‘Island Voices, Global Choices’ of the Third International Conference on SIDS which took place in 2014.
The Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway in September 2019 is expected to renew international commitment to supporting SIDS in the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway. This will be a valuable time for island journalists to report on this important global meeting and articulate how the international community will be supporting the remaining five years of the SAMOA Pathway.
Through the Island Voices journalism campaign, UN-OHRLLS will:
- Support SIDS journalists ahead of the MTR – through a communications and training campaign and;
- Invite SIDS journalists to participate and report on the 2019 Midterm
Review of the SAMOA Pathway to be held in New York (27 September 2019)
1. Provide opportunities for journalists to gain greater knowledge on key development issues covered in the SAMOA Pathway;
2. Foster deeper understanding of the SAMOA Pathway and how the programme of action came about;
3. Understand UN processes which are shaping the development discourse for SIDS including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals;
4. Build capacity of SIDS journalists to effectively report on the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway in light of the upcoming 2019 Midterm Review. Capacity building will take place under the following:
a) Exposure to SAMOA Pathway review through the Midterm Review meeting;
b) Training workshop and designated SIDS support and material at the MTR in New York;
c) Advanced, online training, tailored media material and information campaign ahead of the MTR, which highlights key themes and issues of SAMOA Pathway and SDGs;
5. Encourage ongoing reporting about the SAMOA Pathway around the 2019 Midterm Review and over the remaining five years of the programme of action;
6. Increased general knowledge of key SDG issues in SIDS.