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350 journalists from 100 nations to attend Congress

IFJ Congress to witness 'journalism in the firing line'

The 31st World Congress of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), taking place in Muscat, will witness first-hand accounts of experience from journalists in war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Mexico, Yemen and Ukraine.

"Union leaders and journalists from these countries will come together to give first-hand accounts of their experiences on the ground in a special session looking at journalism in the firing line", the IFJ said in a release on Monday.

According to the release, the Congress will host a discussion on the impunity for crimes against journalists.

The opening ceremony will be held under the auspices of HH Sayyid Asaad bin Tarik al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs, Personal Representative of His Majesty the Sultan.

Oman Journalists Association (OJA) will represent the Sultanate of Oman in hosting the four-day event at Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"The debate will feature killed journalists' family members who will travel to Muscat to inform delegates about their cases and call for support for their fight for justice", the IFJ said.

Referring to the increase in violence against journalists worldwide, the IFJ stated that the last three years have been especially challenging for journalists all over the world.

"Violence against journalists has increased worldwide, with four countries at the epicentre: Afghanistan, Mexico, Yemen and Ukraine", the release said.

According to IFJ President Younes Mjahed, the triennial Congress allows IFJ affiliates to meet, discuss the IFJ working programme and elect a new Executive Committee and a new leadership.

"This Congress comes at a particularly sensitive time for journalism, with wars in several countries, growing surveillance of media workers and newsrooms still suffering the consequences of the Covid pandemic. We believe this Congress will provide us with a clear roadmap to face these challenges and strengthen the IFJ's capacity to support its members across the world", Younes said.

The World Congress, hosted by the Omani Journalists Association (OJA), will kick off today with a pre-conference involving a high-level debate on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on journalism and newsrooms and IFJ affiliates' actions to save jobs and lives over the past two years.

The panel will include trade union leaders from every continent.

As many as 350 journalists, representing associations from over 100 countries will be taking part in the event, in addition to 50 journalists and media personalities who represent newspapers, radios, television channels and e-newspapers from all over the world.

The newly-elected IFJ Gender Council and its Steering Committee, will lead a review of their actions over the last three years — including campaigns to eradicate violence against women journalists, close the gender pay gap and foster women's access to leading roles in the media — and adopt a new action plan.

In addition to other agendas at the Congress, it will also hold a special session to mark the International Safety Fund's 30th anniversary, looking back on historic moments over the past three decades when the fund has provided key support to journalists at risk.


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