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UN marks World Television Day, highlighting its communicative powers

UN marks World Television Day, highlighting its communicative powers

Television as the world's most important communications tool is central to the spread of an "information society," United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today in a message marking World Television Day.

"People everywhere are living in more and more of an information society," said Mr. Annan, and television "has a key role to play as these changes deepen and spread further still."

Urging the television industry to produce and distribute diverse, high quality content, in the developed and developing countries, Mr. Annan said "our interdependent world requires an information society that is universal and inclusive, that promotes mutual understanding and tolerance, and that presents a plurality of views."

In his message, General Assembly President, Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic highlighted television's indispensable role in the proper functioning of genuine democracies, and said that "television is a decisive factor in globalization [as] it supports cultural diversity and helps to establish freedom of information."

Next December, the deliberations of the World Summit on Information Society, which will bring together all key stakeholders to discuss the information revolution and its impact, will be complemented by a UN organized World Electronic Media Forum to be held in Geneva. The Forum will bring together diverse players from the developed and developing world to focus on the role of the electronic media in the information society.