Inauguration of Peace Media Workshop by the State Ministry for Peace
The Peace Media Workshop was inaugurated in the presence of Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, State Minister for Peace, Abdullah Khenjani, Deputy Minister for Coordination, Policy and Strategy of the SMP, Mohammad Rasool Talib, member of the negotiation team, media officials of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), and media representatives.
In the beginning, Sayed Hassan Alemi, Director of Information of the State Ministry for Peace, welcomed the participants and presented information about the Peace Media Workshop.
Mr. Alemi said that the State Ministry for Peace will continue to conduct training programs for the media and will act in accordance with the advice and plans of journalists and media colleagues.
Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, State Minister for Peace, called the launch of the Peace Media Workshop the commencement of a new effort and opening a window to a better and bloodless tomorrow, and said that holding this workshop is one of the first steps and moving in a constructive direction, and is based on the mission of journalists to protect the value of freedom of expression.
Emphasizing that the people support the peace process, he said that ending the current chaos depends on the success of the peace process, and therefore there is a need for listening, mutual acceptance, and tolerance.
Mr. Naderi said that in the past two decades, a good ground for media activity had been provided, and hundreds of media outlets have been established in the capital and provinces; but the insecurity and the impact of the violence on the text and content of what is reflected in the media have created a dire situation.
He described peace journalism as a window of hope for a future free of violence and bloodshed, and said that a number of journalists and the media had paved the way for the emergence of this trend.
The State Minister for Peace added that the ministry considers freedom of expression to be one of the most important values of the Afghan people and believes that there would be no democratic system without freedom of expression.
Emphasizing that the media is a bridge between the people and the government, Mr. Naderi said that the media could convey dormant voices to the government.
He also expressed hope that the people's basic demands in the negotiations should be met and that post-conflict Afghanistan must be one of the best countries in terms of freedom of expression.
He emphasized that the State Ministry for Peace will work closely with the media to preserve this value.
Mohammad Rasool Talib, member of the negotiation team, called holding the workshop a necessity of the society at the time and said that the work of informing in the peace sector has complexities, and if the media takes that into account, they can play an important role in the peace process.
He said one of the main goals of the negotiations is the success of the process, and that the joint action of the government and the media in the information sector should help move the negotiations forward.
Emphasizing neutrality as a key principle of information, Mr. Talib said that the media could not be neutral in preserving freedom of expression, as they are the beneficiaries of the process and must defend freedom of expression.
Abdullah Khenjani, Deputy Minister for Coordination, Policy and Strategy of the SMP, also said that there is need to start a serious dialogue on how to report peace.
He added that the State Ministry for Peace is committed to starting this dialogue, as the current meeting is the first step in this direction.
Mr. Khenjani further said that war reporting has always prevailed for the past twenty years and stressed that this should be changed and replaced by peace reporting.
In this workshop, Sayed Mahdi Munadi, a university professor, delivered his presentation about how peace processes work, and Teri Jud, lecturer of the Albanian Institute of Education and Consulting, gave a presentation about the role of the media and effective communication in peace negotiation process.
At the end of this one-day workshop, organized by the State Ministry for Peace in cooperation with the Albanian Institute of Education and Consulting, certificates were also distributed to the participants. In this workshop, journalists from 34 active media in the capital have participated.