mbalmayo tca

Media Men and Women in one accord, agree to be more than just a Watchdog to the Implementation of the ATT in Cameroon

The two-day workshop saw the coming together of some twenty-five media professionals from the 25th to the 26th of April 2018 in Mbalmayo, Centre region of Cameroon for empowerment on ways to fast track the universalization and implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in Cameroon. Second of its kind in the country, the workshop was organized by the Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace (CAMYOSFOP), in partnership with the Ministry of External Relations. This workshop came at a time when the country is currently faced with numerous security challenges and the journalist being at the forefront of information dissemination to the public, inevitably has a vital role to play.

The first day had two major articulations; the official opening ceremony and the start of the working session. Welcoming the participants, Mr. NGALIM Eugine, Executive Director of CAMYOSFOP buttressed on the activities of the structure since its creation in matters of peace and security; a glaring illustration of the involvement of the civil society and the necessity to continue the struggle for the ratification process. Reassuring participants of the unwavering position of the Network of Cameroon Journalists for Pan African Institutions (RECIF) as an ally in matters of advocacy and support of institutions, the President of this structure Mme Dominique PEKASSA called on her fellow journalists to be mindful of the “…strategic, dynamic, effective and efficient…” activities they must carry out in the ratification process of the ATT. Representing the Ministry of External Relations (MINREX), Mr. MOUNGUI MEDI Lasconi did not fail to acknowledge the timeliness of the workshop with the current situation of illicit trade in arms, poaching and terrorism in the country and central Africa. Equally in his words, “the ratification of treaties passes through various stages among which are, the exchange face within the context of which the present workshop is organized… “

With the workshop declared opened, the second part of the first day saw participants being drilled on the genesis, ratification and implementation process alongside some key articles of the ATT, the coordinating role of the MINREX in the reporting mechanism for the ATT and the role of the media as a fourth power in advocating for the effective implementation of the ATT in Cameroon.

These presentations paved the way for group work to commence on the second day of the workshop with focus on how the media can contribute to advocating for an inclusive implementation of the ATT in Cameroon. This working session resulted in proposed plans of action from both groups as well as recommendations to the government as well as the media professionals. With the finalization of ground work for the setting up of a network of journalists on the ATT being the apex of the concretization of the recommendations made during the workshop, participating journalists were confident and unanimous by the end of the workshop, to be flag bearers of the efforts to fast track and ensure the finalization of the ratification process of the ATT in Cameroon with their newly empowered skills and tools.
Angeline Wulba

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