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Recommendations of the Accra Meeting on the media and post-electoral crisis

(MFWA/IFEX) - 10 January 2011 - Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and the International Media Support (IMS) organised a two-day Conference on the media and the ongoing Ivorian crisis.

The 27 participants who were drawn from media and civil society organisations from within and outside Côte d'Ivoire discussed a number of issues.

Recommendations of the Accra Meeting on the Media and Post-Electoral Crises in Cote d'Ivoire:

"We, the participants at a meeting on 'The Media and the Post-Electoral Crises in Cote d'Ivoire,' organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in collaboration with the International Media Support (IMS) on 7th and 8th January, 2011, in Accra, Ghana;

Considering that the post-electoral crises in Cote d'Ivoire are getting worse each day;

Considering the real risk of a confrontation with unpredictable consequences for Côte d'Ivoire and the sub-region;

Conscious that the increased radicalisation of the positions of the parties involved and the post electoral crises are poisoning the social and political climate in Côte d'Ivoire;

Conscious of the responsibility of the media in the outbreak of the crises and the extreme radical positions of the parties involved - responsibilities which had earlier been emphasised by all the peace agreements from Marcoussis to Ouagadougou;

Convinced that the responsibility of the media is necessary for the professional work of journalists and for their involvement in initiatives to create a more peaceful social and political climate as well as in the resolution of the post-electoral crises;

Convinced of the readiness of the media and journalists to be involved professionally in the resolution of the post-electoral crises in Côte d'Ivoire, and;

Committed to working together for a peaceful resolution of the crises in Côte d'Ivoire;

Made the following recommendations:

1. The organisation of periodic forums in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, which will bring together regulation and self-regulation bodies, organisations of Ivorian media professionals, African and international institutions.

2. The drafting and adoption of a series of common editorials and messages of peace by the media community in Côte d'Ivoire, appealing for calm in the social and political climate. The said messages should be widely broadcast/published in both electronic and print media - public radio and television, private commercial and non-commercial radio stations and religious stations. The messages should also be widely broadcast on the UN Radio station.

3. A mission made up of national, regional, and international press freedom and media development advocacy organisations should be sent without delay to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, to meet the political authorities, owners and directors of the media houses, for the respect of media freedoms, protection of journalists and right to access of information in Côte d'Ivoire.

4. Documentation of all violations of media freedoms wherever they occur in the country.

5. The establishment of mechanisms for the protection and safety of journalists and the media.

6. Support to community radio, regulatory and self-regulatory bodies and other media stakeholders to ensure that they follow-up and implement these recommendations."

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