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Secretary-General urges Asian media to help bridge digital divide

Secretary-General urges Asian media to help bridge digital divide

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on delegates to an Asian media conference to bridge the digital divide that can separate rich and poor depending on their access to modern telecommunications.

“Let us work together to bridge the digital divide, so that all people can benefit,” he said in a video message to 600 delegates to the 8th Asia Media Summit meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

“Let us promote multiple languages in new media,” he said. “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.”

The annual meeting, organized by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development, provides a forum for media agencies in the region to share their experiences and ideas on radio and television broadcasting and technology.

Mr. Ban’s remarks echoed comments made earlier this month on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, when he urged policy-makers to do more to ensure rural communities are able to take advantage of the latest technologies and not fall victim to the digital divide.

“As we bridge the digital divide, we narrow the chasm that separates those with and without access to information and knowledge, thereby broadening opportunities for a better life,” he said.