5th ASEAN Media Forum discusses multilateralism amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
About 30 ASEAN media leaders gathered at the 5th ASEAN Media Forum held online by the ASEAN Secretariat today to dialogue with the region’s thought leaders on pertinent issues affecting the region. The forum continued to highlight ASEAN’s goals, achievements and challenges to the region’s top media editors and influencers.
In his remarks, Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi underlined ASEAN’s priority and plan in enhancing efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of ASEAN people. He emphasised that while media has become an integral part in the advancement of societies, reliable channels of communication that inform, educate and empower people are increasingly essential.
“ASEAN would also benefit from your insights being the voice of integrity and the bridge between our vast and diverse communities to secure a sustainable and resilient future,” said Dato Lim. During the opening session, the senior editors shared their experiences regarding restrictions they faced in their reporting job due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was followed by a panel discussion on “The importance of multilateralism in a diverse ASEAN.”
The panel featured former Secretary-General of ASEAN, Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, who is currently the Executive Deputy Chairman of S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore; Moe Thuzar, fellow and co-coordinator of Institute of Southeast Asian Studies’ Myanmar Studies Programme; and Dr Chang-Yau Hoon, Director of the Centre of Advanced Research at the University of Brunei Darussalam. The highlight of the forum was an exclusive conversation where media leaders had the opportunity to hear insights from and exchanged views with the Secretary- General of ASEAN Dato Lim and former Foreign Minister of Indonesia Dr. Marty Natalegawa.
The conversation evolved around ASEAN’s balancing acts between major powers in the region. It was stressed that ASEAN should continue to enhance its convening power as well as its thought leadership to manifest its centrality. Further, it is critical for ASEAN to uphold and promote its principle of resolving disputes through peaceful settlement. The ASEAN Secretariat organised the event with support from the German Federal Government through the Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit.