An experience to remember: IFJ World Congress

Monday Musing

[ Amar Sangno ]

For a small town boy, representing the country in an international forum like IFJ’s World Congress was indeed a dream come true for me.

I was overwhelmed when I was made a proceeding member on the panel on 31st May, the first day of IFJ World Congress which was kept exclusively for Asia-Pacific and Oceania region. The proceeding was presided over by IFJ general secretary Anthony Bellanger. With this, I joined the global voice of journalists.

Attending the IFJ World Congress in Muscat was indeed once in a lifetime opportunity and experience for me.

IFJ World Congress motivated me to strengthen the union and work hard for the welfare of working journalists, defend press freedom and ethics.

I was inspired by the true democratic principles followed and maintained throughout the IFJ World Congress proceedings.

Being a young unionist, I truly felt that the IFJ World Congress is next to the UN Assembly, at least for working journalists’ union leaders.

I was more motivated and proud to realize that IJU is one of the major players in the IFJ especially, when it comes to Asia-Pacific and Oceania region.

I felt even more proud to move a motion on behalf of IJU, India against misuse of laws to silence media which was voted in favor unanimously.

IJU moved five ordinary motions including solidarity with Afghan journalists, digital freedom and data protection, the fight against misuse of laws to silence media, sexual harassment policy and strengthening trade unionism in the congress.

It is a testimony that IJU is a global player and key and strong affiliate body of the IFJ.

As we wrapped up the four days of IFJ congress hosted by OJA, I learnt, the global voice of journalists not only promote and propagate press freedom, freedom of speech and safety and security of the working journalist, it also encourages and promote camaraderie and unity among the journalists communities.

Another memorable experience was the journey itself and checking into the hotel. We reached Muscat in Oman after a three hours flight from Indira Gandhi International Airport from Delhi.

As we disembarked from the flight and sauntered towards exit gate, we were welcomed by a woman holding IFJ placard, “Welcome to the Sultanate of Oman.”

She introduced herself as Noor, from Oman Journalists Association (OJA). We were guided to a room where other members of OJA joined Noor to welcome three Indian delegates.

From there a chauffeur drove us to Raddison Hotel, just few kilometres away from the Muscat International Airport. Later we found out we checked into the wrong hotel!

By the time I got call from Indian Journalists Union (IJU) president informing that we have checked in the wrong hotel, I already had a shower!

With all humility we checked out and moved in to our designated hotel- the Crown Plaza.