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UN Will Continue To Champion Press Freedom – Ban Ki-moon

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From Mohd Letfee Ahmad

INCHEON (South Korea): Media that are free and responsible help people across the world to stand up for human rights, justice, dignity and opportunities for all.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said based on this premise, the world body would continue to speak out for press freedom and the free flow of information.

“The media, including, and increasingly, online media, serve as our eyes and ears. We all benefit from the information they provide.

“Yet, all too often, journalists are threatened, harassed, obstructed or even killed in the pursuit of information,” he said in his message to the Asia Media Summit 2016 (AMS 2016), here, today.

Ban said he was very concerned about the increasingly restrictive environment for media workers in many countries, as constraints on freedom of expression placed shackles on progress itself.

“I will continue to urge all governments, politicians, businesses and citizens to commit to nurturing and protecting an independent, free media.

“Without this fundamental right, people are less free and less empowered. With it, we can work together for a world of dignity and opportunity for all,” he said.

Ban noted that the AMS 2016 also coincided with the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, convened “because humanitarian needs have been rising for years”.

“Today at least 125 million people require life-saving assistance. Sixty million people have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict or violence. Half of them are children.

“We are also seeing a brutal and growing lack of respect for international humanitarian law,” he said.

The AMS 2016 from May 24-26 and held at the Songdo Convention Centre, here, sees the participation of over 400 media people, including 10 representatives of Malaysian media organisations.

Kuala Lumpur hosted the summit last year.

— BERNAMA

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