The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has pledged its support to the Press Union of Liberia to ensure the safety of journalists while carrying out their reportorial duties during this year's elections.
The regional Director Mr. Yao Ydo said UNESCO will support the PUL in strengthening capacities of media professionals in journalism and social media challenges.
He said UNESCO would also empower Liberian youth to enhance their democratic participation in decision making, and instill in them the core values of respect, tolerance and peace to ensure free, fair elections in Liberia.
Mr. Yado observed that journalists continue to be targets or subjects to threat which sometimes leads to deaths because of opinions in the exercise of their duties.
"UNESCO places high importance in empowering journalists to increase awareness on freedom of expression and the free flow of information," he said.
The Regional Director said UNESCO will remain committed to capacity building for journalist in conflict sensitive and non-partisan elections management mentoring scheme for Liberian media outlets.
He made the statement at the opening ceremony of two-day training for young Liberian journalists in Monrovia. He also launched the UNESCO Support for Media Development for 2017 Elections Program.
Under the theme "Empowering Young Journalists to Monitor Good Governance, Democratic Participation and Peaceful Transition in Liberia's 2017", the training brought together about 35 journalists from Bassa, Bong, Cape Mount, Margibi and Montserrado counties.
The workshop was organized by the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP).
Information Minister Eugene Nagbe cautioned journalist to remain professional while carrying out their duties.
He said the media continues to play a major role in the democratic process of Liberia thus making it a critical part of society.
He noted that without a free press, there can be no democratic nation. The Minister also encouraged partners to give journalist all necessary trainings needed to prepare them ahead of elections.