PINA MEMBERS FOCUS ON ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN CULTURE OF PEACE FOR GUADALCANAL

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AND BOUGAINVILLE

By Nina Ratulele PINA Nius Online

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 30, 2000 - PINA Nius Online)---Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) members in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea will mark World Media Freedom Day by focusing on UNESCO's Culture of Peace.

They will hold special programs on the role of the news media in reporting recent deadly conflicts in their countries and in the peace and reconciliation process.

PINA's World Media Freedom Day priority this year is the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea because of the conflicts there, the peace processes now under way and the key role the news media can play.

In Honiara, PINA national affiliate the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) is focusing on the Guadalcanal ethnic conflict and this coming week's peace talks.

In Papua New Guinea, PINA national affiliate the Media Council of Papua New Guinea is focusing on the Bougainville secessionist conflict and the peace and reconciliation process.

Both media programs are being supported by UNESCO and PINA.

PINA president William Parkinson is traveling from the Fiji Islands to take part in both.

He will open the Honiara program on Monday morning. This will also help prepare a group of Solomon Islands journalists to travel to Buala, on the island of Isabelle, later in the week. There they will attend the peace talks involving the national government, the Guadalcanal and Malaita provincial governments and rebel forces from both islands.

Parkinson will attend the World Media Freedom Day ceremonies in Honiara on the morning of May 3. Then he will fly to Port Moresby on an early afternoon flight to join Media Council of Papua New Guinea's program starting there that day to mark World Media Freedom Day.

The three-day Port Moresby program includes the participation of key leaders from the island of Bougainville. It will be opened by Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

PINA has expressed special appreciation of the support from UNESCO's Regional Communication Adviser for the Pacific States, Tarja Virtanen.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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