Asean to launch first-ever media forum

ZAMBOANGA CITY-- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will launch its first-ever Asean Media Forum (AMF) on Friday in Manila as part of the commemorative activities celebrating the regional block's 50th anniversary.

In a statement, the Asean secretariat based in Jakarta, said the AMF aims at providing a platform for Asean to convey key messages of its goals, achievements and challenges to top media leaders, while at the same time, allow for engagement, discussion and debate on topical and timely international, issues which affect the region.

Over 21 media leaders from 10 member states have so far, agreed to join the forum, the statement reads.

During the launching, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, former Asean Secretary-General and ex-Thai Foreign Minister, will deliver a special luncheon speech on ASEAN � the next 50 years.

This is to be followed by a panel discussion on how should Asean balance itself among the major powers.

The highlight of the forum will be a Conversation with the Asean chair hosted by Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano.

Media plays a very important role in ASEAN's community building efforts. This forum is being launched in the hope that Asean can forge a regular platform of communication with the region's media, enabling them to gain a deeper understanding of Asean, and thus empowering these media leaders to better explain Asean's objectives, initiatives, achievements and challenges to our people, said AKP Mochtan, the Deputy Secretary-General of Asean for Community and Corporate Affairs.

The Asean Secretariat and the Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are jointly organizing the event, in consultation with the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

Source: Philippine News Agency