The “UN Regional Workshop for East and Southeast Asia on Strengthening the Capacity of the Media in Promoting and Advocating Peace and Disarmament” took place in Beijing, China, on 20 and 21 January 2011 and was organised by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) and supported by the Government of China and the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA). The workshop was the first of three in a project on “Strengthening the Capacity of the Media in Advocating and Promoting Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific”. It was also the first UN meeting in recent years focusing on the role of the media in promoting disarmament.
Over 50 participants including senior media staff from 11 East and Southeast Asian countries as well as disarmament experts from think-tanks and representatives of international organizations such as the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) took part in the workshop. The workshop was opened by Mr. Sergio Duarte, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. The keynote Speech was delivered by Mr. Cheng Jingye, Director-General, Department of Arms Control and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.
The workshop provided a unique occasion for interactive discussions between media participants and disarmament experts on disarmament topics, and proved most useful in increasing the media’s knowledge and understanding of disarmament and non-proliferation issues and in empowering media from the region to be involved in promoting disarmament. Participants also discussed the potential role of new social media in promoting disarmament.