Journalists and correspondents from community radio stations in Namibia have been urged to popularize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speaking at a workshop to familiarize journalists from four community radios on Sustainable Development Goals, UNAIDS Country Director, Dr. Tharcisse Barihuta (who was representing UNESCO Windhoek Head of Office, Dr. Jean-Pierre Ilboudo) urged the journalists to “tell everyone about the SDGs”.
He said the workshop came at the right as “it would acquaint community reporters with knowledge about SDGs enabling them to communicate such information to their respective communities”.
“When communicating the Post 2015 agenda, we must all adhere to human rights, gender equality and ethical principles of journalism,” said Dr. Barihuta.
“For example, we should not reinforce stereotypes of women and girls in our messages. We must walk what we talk,” he added.
He urged the reporters to ensure that when they communicate the SDGs, they make the messages “simple and clear, but not simplistic”.
“We must build an understanding that all goals are interconnected. The rights to development to food and nutrition, to heath, to decent work and living wage and to sexual reproductive rights are all interconnected and sustainable development and development justice cannot be achieved without achieving these fundamental rights,” he added.
Mr. Neil Boyer from UNDP gave an overview of the overall objectives of the SDGs. He indicated that unlike the MDGs which were developed with limited consultations of all stakeholders and member States, the formulation of the SDGs was very participatory as even local communities were consulted and gave their input. He said the SDGs were primarily developed to ensure that communities will meet their developmental needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. He further emphasised the importance of ensuring gender equality saying sustainable development can only be achieved if men and women are treated equally and given the same opportunities.
The workshop was facilitated by the National Planning Commission’s Mr. Nandiuasora Mazeingo. In his presentation, he informed participants how Namibia performed with regards to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before delving into the SDGs.
The journalists were encouraged to popularise the SDGs through the following ways among others:
- Host talk shows around the SDGs and poverty eradication in the lead up to key national and international political events;
- Feature international days such as International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, World Food Day, World Aids Day to discuss each SDGs;
- Develop “On Air” programming around the SDGs and include the issues of poverty and the SDGs into briefs for scriptwriters;
- Host live audience shows discussing human interest stories, from a humanitarian perspective and in the context of the SDGs; and
- Run editorials, features, campaigns with targeted simple/complex messages that resonate with their audiences
Participants acknowledged the importance of the workshop and committed to go back to the communities and “let everyone know about SDGs”.
UNESCO Windhoek Office organised the workshop in collaboration with the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office, UNDP and the National Planning Commission. The workshop successfully equipped journalists with specific SDGs knowledge and information to roll out an effective SDG awareness campaign. It was held under the theme, “Tell everyone about #SDGs”.