Bor, October 4th 2022. AMDISS conducts a two-day media conference in Bor town, Jonglei State under the theme “Promoting Access to Information, e-Governance, and Artificial Intelligence during the Constitution-Making Process.”
The conference is part of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) commemorated globally. Over 50 leaders attended the conference. It included senior state government officials, representatives of some media parastatals, police commissioner, traditional leaders, faith-based leaders, civil society leaders, academicians, women leaders, youth leaders, and media representatives at Park Palace hotel. It began on Monday 3rd and will conclude on Tuesday 4th of October 2022 respectively.
Addressing the opening ceremony, the State Minister of Information and Communication, Hon. John Samuel Manyuon advised the participants to proactively raise the issues hindering their right of access to information in the state. Minister Manyuon assured the participants that nobody will be arrested for expressing his or her views at the conference unless it invades one’s privacy.
“I would like you to participate constructively,” Manyuon said. “The presence of the police commissioner and senior government officials in this media conference should not intimidate you. Nobody will be arrested for speaking in this conference hall. Unless otherwise, if you stand on one’s toe,” he assured.
Moyiga Nduru, the commissioner of Access to Information Commission encouraged the intellectuals of Bor Community to develop and master their cognitive language to accelerate constructive interaction and sharing of ideas in society during the constitution-making process.
The State Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Kasara Riek Tiop appreciated AMDISS and UNESCO for extending media activities to Jonglei State. He appealed to the participants to make utmost use of this opportunity to interact and contribute with ideas crucial for nation-building.
Major-General Elia Costa, the police commissioner in Jonglei State urged the media practitioners and police to work together for the benefit of the people of South Sudan.
“The work of the police is to search for information just as the media,” Gen. Costa said. “The race for accurate information between media and police sometimes brings about friction because the police want to access the information first and journalists also want the same. Let us put our efforts together to enhance our relations and work together to protect our civil population from harmful practices,” Gen. Costa urged.
The ever-increasing digital world, artificial intelligence, and e-governance will play an important part in improving access to information, according to UNESCO’s key message for this year’s celebration. Mr. Julius Banda, the Country Director of UNESCO said information is vital for attaining sustainable development goals. He appealed to the state authorities and civil society organizations as well as the media to work together to keep the public informed about the constitution-making process.
The Chairperson of the Board of AMDISS, Mr. Koang Pal Chang advised journalists to stick to the principles of telling the truth in their programing to avoid getting into problem with the state authorities.
He voiced out the importance of upholding code of conduct and ethics of journalism when trying to capitalize on the issues of check and balance in the public issues and as the country heads toward achieving its permanent constitution.
This conference is organized by AMDISS in collaboration with the office of the Access to Information Commission with funding from UNESCO.