Turning information into a driving force for development for the people of ASEAN

WVR - The core mission of the media is to provide information, raise awareness, disseminate knowledge, empower individuals, serve development, enhance understanding and solidarity among the nations and member states of ASEAN, and promote ASEAN's image and values to the world.

The significance of media was underscored at 16th ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI) meeting held in the central city of Da Nang from September 20-23, as ASEAN’s information collaboration established a vision and development cooperation document for the sector for the next ten-plus years up to 2035, for the first time ever.

Phó Chủ tịch nước Võ Thị Ánh Xuân và các Bộ trưởng Thông tin ASEAN. (Nguồn: TTXVN)
Vietnam’s Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan and ASEAN Information Ministers attended the 16th Conference of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI 16) in Da Nang. (Photo: VNA)

AMRI 16 took place against the backdrop of a world in flux, where information, amplified by technology and the internet, spreads at lightning speed and impacts on a global scale, both positively and negatively.

Thus, cooperation to promote timely and accurate information access based on a nation's digital capacity, transformation information into knowledge to assist businesses, improve people's livelihoods and living conditions, and mitigate the impact of negative information, is currently a pressing need at all national, regional and international levels, including ASEAN.

As stated by Mr. Ekkaphab Phanthavong, ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General for the Socio-Cultural Community, with the ASEAN region emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the field of information and communications plays a critical and continuous role in promoting the ASEAN Community Vision. In this context, discussion at AMRI 16 “helps us continue our efforts towards building an ASEAN Community that provides opportunities for everyone."

With the participation of 8 ministers, 4 deputy ministers, and information management leaders from the 10 ASEAN countries, 3 dialogue countries (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea), and 1 observer country (Timor-Leste), AMRI 16 was the largest in the history of AMRI meetings to date.

The host country, Vietnam, was recognized for its significant contributions to the planning and successful organization of the conference, both in content and logistics. The conference established a new role and mission, opening new space for the ASEAN information and communication sector following Vietnam's initiative. The initiative of Vietnam's Minister for the theme of AMRI 16: "Communication: From Information to Knowledge for a Resilient and Adaptive ASEAN" was highly appreciated by the countries and became the central topic of discussion at the conference.

Vietnam initiated the drafting of the ASEAN Vision 2035 on Information and Communication, to which ASEAN countries contributed, developed, and adopted at the conference. This marks the first time ASEAN's information cooperation has been documented with a vision, development direction, and cooperation of the sector for over ten years up to 2035.

ASEAN kỹ thuật số. (Nguồn: WEF)
AMRI 16 affirmed that information will become a proactive tool for lifelong learning and enhancing the digital literacy of ASEAN citizens. (Photo: WEF)

According to Mr. Nguyen Thanh Lam, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, AMRI 16 affirmed and defined the role of the information industry in the new phase as moving from "information" to "knowledge" – information will become a proactive tool for lifelong learning and enhancing the digital literacy of ASEAN citizens. This is an inevitable trend of digital transformation, the influence of social networks, new media platforms, and the advancement of artificial intelligence.

The Ministers encouraged more dialogue and connectivity between the media, communities, and the public to foster a more comprehensive approach to information, calling for regional cooperation to build a healthy cyberspace environment by enhancing digital capabilities, maximizing reliable information sources to build trust, orient public opinion, and boost digital skills for ASEAN citizens, particularly the youth and elderly.

ASEAN cooperation in the information and communication field is one of Vietnam's 15 areas of cooperation under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community pillar, managed and directed by the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information mechanism. The focus is on directing and promoting cooperation among ASEAN countries in areas such as journalism, radio and television broadcasting, the internet and promotion, and raising awareness about ASEAN.

"The ASEAN information and communication sector is now embarking on a new mission, actively creating a new space to jointly contribute to the construction of a peaceful and prosperous ASEAN Community. This transition from information to knowledge and understanding is leading the way, and the successful execution of this new mission will be ASEAN countries' contribution to the global information and communication sector". (Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung)
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