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A 3-day training workshop for journalists on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), has ended in Accra with a call on the media to go beyond reporting straight news and do more evidence-based journalism.

Ms Sylvia Mwichuli, Acting Deputy Director, African Office of the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC), who made the call, said that was the only way the media could contribute towards achieving the MDGs by the 2015 deadline.

The workshop, which began on Thursday, and attended by journalists drawn from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Ghana, was to build the capacity of such journalists in the MDG campaign as advocates and to support campaign activities in key priority countries.

It was also to raise awareness amongst media practitioners on the need for the accelerated achievement of MDGs, dialogue on the global context and strategy for UNMC from 2010 to 2015 as well as to ensure and sustain all stakeholders' participation in MDGs campaigns.

It was under the theme: "Enhancing the Role of Media in Building a Global Movement for the Accelerated Achievement of MDGs'.

It was organized by the UNMC, PANOS West Africa, a Dakar based NGO working to build democratic communication sphere in Africa for change and justice and the Global Call to Action against Poverty Ghana (GCAP), local chapter of UNMC.

Ms Mwichuli stressed that the success and achievement of the MDGs depended largely on the informative and educational roles of the media and the civil society adding that all countries needed to achieve the MDGs in order for the rippling effects to extend to others.

'There is no success when Ghana achieves it and others fail' Ms Mwichuli said.

She said even though the campaign so far had yielded some positive results, a lot more work needed to done because over two million people are suffering from HIV/AIDS globally, many more children still out of school and hunger still on the rise.

Mr Shigeki Komatsubarar, Deputy Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) called on countries to double up their efforts at attaining the MDGs.

Mr Komatsubarar said achieving the MDGs should not be considered as the role for only the government calling on the private sector and stakeholders to get on-board and work in partnership to achieve the MDGs.

He said the UNDP was working to strengthen the communication capacity for all agencies to intensify awareness creation to help achieve the MDGs.

Reverend Albert Kwabi, Executive Director of Ghana MDG/GCAP, said his office would soon come out with publication in local languages concerning the MDGs to help all to understand them and know what to do to achieve them.

Rev. Kwabi said the GMDG/GCAP was collaborating with other relevant state institutions to enhance its activities adding that awareness creation was at its peak in the country even though more needed to be done.

He predicted that Ghana might not meet all but the goal one of the MDGs.

Meanwhile, the participants have formed a West Africa Media Network to engage in periodic publications from their countryside, share country experiences on quarterly basis to enhance their respective countries' efforts at attaining the goals.

The participants, on the Saturday, visited the Central Regional town of Elmina to witness everyday activities of the residents.

Elmina is a coastal town where fishing is the mainstay of the people but depletion of fish stalk due to crude methods of fishing is threatening the livelihood of the residents.

The MDGs consists of eight goals set by world leaders at the United Nations millennium summit in the year 2000 to be achieved by 2015.

They include reducing maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, all children of school going age should be enrolled, reduce hunger, improve sanitation amongst others.
Source: GNA

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