By G9ija

Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa will join media experts including an Afghan reporter who fled the Taliban, Zahra Joya and other speakers at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s flagship annual conference.

The 2021 conference billed for Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, will also feature world-renowned Professor of Economics Jeffrey Sachs, Executive Director of Aspen Digital Vivian Schiller and founder of craigslist, Craig Newmark.

A statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by the media team for the conference, said that the event will be focused on a post-pandemic roadmap to inclusive growth and the protection of free media and civil liberties.

The renowned speakers are said to be joining human rights defenders, policymakers and innovators for the online forum which brings together thousands of other participants.

“The event comes at a critical juncture of the COVID-19 crisis and the UN climate summit, and will address how the pandemic has deepened longstanding social and economic inequalities, has revitalised the drive for a sustainable future and has triggered an alarming spike in media freedom and human rights violations.

“With 18 hours of live-streamed talks, plenaries and insight sessions, leading experts from a variety of disciplines will share new insights on shifting the post-pandemic economy onto a more inclusive and sustainable path, one built on the principles of human rights, media freedom and climate justice.

“They will weigh in on cutting-edge solutions to tackle the world’s most consequential challenges, including the business case for economic inclusion, the path to zero emissions, the human cost of internet shutdowns and a legal network for journalists at risk.

“This year’s diverse speakers are at the forefront of their respective fields, and also include Dr Hilda C. Heine, Senator and former President of the Marshall Islands; Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE, Mayor of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown; Zahra Joya, Journalist and founder of Rukhshana Media in Afghanistan and Javier Pallero, Policy Director at Access Now; Shamina Singh.

“Others are: Executive VP for Sustainability at Mastercard; Jorge Rubio Nava, Global Head of Social Finance at Citi; Danielle Belton, Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post; Lina Attalah, Co-founder of independent Egyptian news outlet Mada Masr, among other.

“The converging economic, health and climate crises are putting our democracies, people and planet under an existential threat,” said Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Antonio Zappulla.

“But there is also a great opportunity for a coordinated global response – the success of which depends on how well we work with and learn from each other.

“Collaboration is key to the work of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, where we harness a unique combination of expertise in journalism and the law to support free, fair and informed societies.

“Together with experts from across sectors, Trust Conference is a critical platform to rethink how to address the power imbalance that defines the world’s population and that derails global efforts to build inclusive economies, free societies and fair institutions,” it said.