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The 2019 Ethiopia Peace Press Forum : Realization of Peace Journalism and Public Journalism

On 19 October 2019, a media forum, ‘2019 HWPL Peace Press Forum’, was held in Institute of Peace and Security Studies(IPSS), Ethiopia, under the theme of ‘Realization of Peace Journalism and Public Journalism’ with about 30 Ethiopian journalists. The event was hosted by the international peace organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light(HWPL).

At the event, the journalists addressed the freedom of expression based on the Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to strengthen the role of journalists in spreading the news of peace. Also, the participants discussed various topics that address the practical role of journalists to realize peace, such as ‘ways to induce civic participation in peace activities through the formation of public opinion’

Dessalegn Masrie Mequanent, Broadcast journalist of Addis TV, emphasized, “People in the world, in Africa, events in our country Ethiopia may be in hostile conditions, fighting each other for the sake of betterment through war, which is totally wrong. That is the reason we meet here together and discuss on peace. Since the concept of peace perpetuates, it needs continuous discussions, professional discourses, and demonstrations. I believe that this forum could bring a positive impact in the effort to maintain peace and cease war and open a new insight for journalists to promote peace across the world.”

Kiram Tadesse, Editor of Afro 105.3FM, said, “I believe journalists could play a leading role in spreading peace news at this time when social network services (SNS) become both an opportunity and a threat for peace. I believe we can immensely contribute our share to play an important role in supporting the peaceful democratic process through spreading peaceful messages especially as Ethiopia is heading to hold elections hinged on hardened political opinions.”

HWPL, as an international peace NGO under the UN ECOSOC and the UN DGC, has run a peace news platform in cooperation with the journalists over the world. The peace news platform for global journalists (peaceinitiative.net) established by HWPL is aimed to ensure freedom of speech and to spread a culture of peace that contribute to resolving conflicts by establishing the peace-based perception and mind to the global society.

Zelalem Girma Abate, Editor of Ethiopia Press Agency, had a speech, said, “‘Peace Initiative’ (PI) is a global journalist network in efforts of facilitating a culture of peace as contribution to conflict resolution and peace building through press freedom and freedom of information stipulated in the UN resolutions and international agreements. Individual journalists and media agencies affiliated with PI dedicate to spreading news of peace to enhance human rights and protect democracy.”

HWPL and Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (MoSHE) signed an MOA for peace education material provided by HWPL. This MOA was to establish a framework of cooperation between HWPL and MoSHE in achieving cessation of war and spreading a culture of peace through activities that raise awareness of peace. Both pledged to provide professional expertise and experience required to achieve the objectives.