UNESCO and AIBD should work together in fighting new challenges to freedom of expression and right to information such as the rise in disinformation and increasing risks to safety of journalists.
Mr Moez Chakchouk, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, UNESCO made the call in his video message during the inaugural ceremony of the 45th Annual Gathering of AIBD General Conference & Associated Meetings in Paro, Bhutan on 22 August 2019.
“ UNESCO and AIBD together can help counter these dangers. As one of founding members of AIBD, Unesco remains committed to expanding range of information available to the public”,
Supporting the importance of diversity and plurality in media, Mr Moez Chakchouk said.
He also said that rapid advances in technologies and ever-changing way we interact with media have mediated some obstacles hindering access to information and freedom of expression.
It’s now easier for users to share opinions and exchange perspectives in global scale, which has empowered a number of marginalised and hard to reach population”, he pointed out.
In his message, he stressed the importance of pluralism and diversity in media, and maintaining it needs united efforts to ensure a strong media in Asia Pacific and around the world emerges.
He took cognizance of UNESCO-AIBD initiatives in promoting gender equality in and through media , and training journalists in climate change reporting.
“ We should continue and expand these efforts”, he said.
He urged participants in the AIBD General Conference to take advantage of this platform “to identify common obstacles and exchange perspectives to inspire meaningful dialogue”.