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Statement by GPU President, Muhammed S. Bah, at the launch of the project “EU-support to the consolidation of democratic dispensation in The Gambia (EU-C”

Jul 6, 2023

GPU
Implemented by International IDEA on Thursday 6th July 2023, from 10.00 to 12.30, at the Sir Dawda
Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre

Good morning
Mr. Chairman
– Hon. Speaker of the NA
– Director Intl IDEA
– Chair NHRC
– The EU Ambassador to The Gambia
– Members of the Press
– Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

Today, I stand before you as the President of the Gambia Press Union and a proud partner in an extraordinary endeavor. It is with great pleasure and deep gratitude to the European Union for supporting the consolidation of
our democratic dispensation through this project to be implemented by the
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
(International IDEA) in in collaboration with key stakeholders and
partners like the National Assembly, the National Human Rights
Commission and the Gambia Press Union.

The “EU-support to the consolidation of democratic dispensation in The Gambia (EU-CODE)” aims to
support a participatory, inclusive, and human rights-based democratic
transition in The Gambia, with a focus on three key areas to establish
sustainable democracy, good governance, and peace and security:

1. To provide technical assistance to the National Assembly and
capacity development of parliamentary staff.

2. To offer technical assistance and capacity development to the
National Human Rights Commission.

3. To assist and develop the capacity of the Gambia Press Union.

Under this three-year project, the capacities of Gambia Press Union’s staff and journalists will be strengthened in the following areas:

– Through training on legal provisions when seeking redress from the Courts and to develop an Assault Guide for Journalists;

– Training on conflict sensitive media coverage of the implementation
of the Recommendations of the Government White Paper on TRRC Report;

– Training of Media Editors and Managers on Preventing Sexual
Harassment and Exploitation, and the Adoption of an industrywide
Sexual Harassment Policy by Media Houses;

Through these, the GPU will utilise its enhanced capacity to meaningfully
implement its mandate, assist and support media to report on
constitutional, electoral and institutional reform processes in a socially
responsible manner that best serves public interest, as well as to provide impartial, informed, accurate, balanced and conflict sensitive coverage of
these processes that serve to enhance dialogue and understanding which
contributes to resolving conflict rather than perpetuating it.

For the GPU, this EU-CODE project marks a new chapter in Gambia’s
journey towards strengthening democracy and promoting press freedom in The Gambia.

It is a testament to the unwavering commitment of all the
stakeholders involved and the trust bestowed upon us by the European Union, International IDEA and other stakeholders working towards
strengthening our democratic gains in recent years.

Democracy is not merely a system of governance; it is a way of life, a
shared vision that empowers citizens and upholds their rights and
freedoms.

In the wake of significant political transformations in our nation, it is imperative that we consolidate and safeguard our democratic
gains.

And the EU-CODE project provides us with a unique opportunity to do
just that.

Therefore, the GPU is committed to fully participating in this important project working closely with International Idea and all other stakeholders
involved in this project.

We look forward to a successful implementation of the EU-CODE project,
which represents hope for a brighter future, where democracy thrives.

I want to conclude by expressing my sincere gratitude to European Union
Delegation to The Gambia and International IDEA for their unwavering
support and commitment to democratic consolidation, press freedom and
responsible journalism in The Gambia, and to all the stakeholders
involved in this project.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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