|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, Addressing Asia Media Summit, Urges Free Access to Internet,
Social Media Tools for Transformation of Societies Everywhere
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the Asia Media Summit, taking place in Hanoi from 24-25 May:
Excellencies, distinguished members of the media, ladies and gentlemen: thank you for coming together for the Asia Media Summit.
Asia is on the frontier of digital technology and new media. We see that in our own work at the United Nations. Users from Australia, India, Japan and the Republic of Korea rank near the top in seeking our new media content.
Many civil society organizations in Asia use social media to spread United Nations values of democracy, human rights, peace and development. They are helping us fight poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
In the Philippines, for example, the World Food Programme uses text messages for “cash-for-work” projects. In India, anti-corruption efforts are being advanced through social media networks and mobile telephones.
Of course, challenges remain. Let us work together to bridge the digital divide, so that all people can benefit. Let us promote multiple languages in new media. And let us ensure free access to the Internet and social media tools everywhere.
Freedom of expression, information and association are not abstract principles; they are bedrock rights that States have an obligation to fulfil.
All of this is essential to make the most of the power of digital media to transform lives and societies for good.
Thank you for working to make this happen.
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