UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon expressed Tuesday his concern about the “increasingly restrictive environment for media workers in many countries,” saying that constraints on freedom of expression are shackles on progress itself.
“I will continue to urge all governments, politicians, businessmen, and citizens to commit to nurturing and protecting an independent, free media,” Mr Bank-Ki-Moon said in his message to some 300 broadcasters from Asia-Pacific attending the 13th Asia Media Summit (AMS) in Incheon, South Korea.
In his remarks read by AIBD Director Chang Jin at the Summit’s inaugural session, Ban-Ki-Moon commended the AIBD for once again bringing together media leaders and practitioners from across the region and beyond to exchange experiences and ideas.
The UN Chief said that free and responsible media help people across the world to stand up for human rights, justice, dignity and opportunity for all.
He added that people benefit from the information the media provides, serving as our eyes and ears on events and issues that citizens face.
“Yet all too often, journalists are threatened, harassed, obstructed or even killed in the pursuit of information. Many languish in detention, some in appalling conditions for shedding light on government failures, corporate malfeasance or societal problems,” the UN chief pointed out.
He called on all concerned to work together to protect the fundamental right for free expression, for without it, people are less free and less empowered.
The AMS is organised by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and co-hosted by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) of the Republic of Korea and the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA). It is being held from 24 to 26 May 2016.