The opening ceremony of the 19th ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI) Subcommittee on Information (SCI) meeting was held at Sky Star Hotel, Tamway Township, Yangon.
Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint attended and addressed the meeting.
The meeting was attended by information subcommittee chairmen and members from ASEAN member countries, departmental heads and officials.
The opening ceremony started with the ASEAN anthem, and Dr. Pe Myint then addressed the ceremony.
In his address, the union minister said Myanmar, especially the Ministry of Information, was honoured to host the 19th SCI meeting. He warmly welcomed the ASEAN delegates and said it will further accelerate cooperation and promotion of ASEAN awareness in building the ASEAN identity and a sense of community.
The ASEAN declaration on Culture of Prevention for a peaceful, inclusive, resilient, healthy and harmonious society was adopted by ASEAN leaders at the 31st ASEAN Summit on 13 November 2017. In this regard, the union minister said development of programmes and dissemination of information on the benefits and opportunities offered by the ASEAN community must be encouraged, in addition to promotion of mutual respect and appreciation of diversity, in line with the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media (2016-2025).
A culture of media pluralism and socially responsible media in creating a peaceful, people-centered, dynamic and outward looking community, with the collaboration of government-to-government (G2G), government-to-business (G2B) and ASEAN dialogue partners, must be promoted, added the union minister.
Due to the rapid spread of social media, every country is concerned about fake news threatening the peace and stability of diverse communities, and thus programmes must be implemented to enhance media literacy, especially among the youth, to enable them to develop multimedia materials to promote cyber-wellness, said the union minister.
The union minister also expressed his confidence in the delegates’ views and recommendations that would invigorate and strengthen the information sector of ASEAN. He added that to achieve this, all member states need to support each other in implementing the respective national communication plans, as well as the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 and the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media 2016-2025. In conclusion, on behalf of the government and the people of Myanmar, the union minister thanked the ASEAN secretariat and the organising committee and all the delegates for ensuring the 19th ASEAN SCI meeting was a great success.
Next, students from Yangon National University of Arts and Culture, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, performed songs and dances.
Later, Union Minister Dr. Pe Myint presented the song and dance troupes with flower baskets and took commemorative group photographs with the representatives attending the meeting.
The 19th ASEAN SCI meeting will review and discuss decisions of the ASEAN Summit meetings and sector-wise meetings and present works of the information sector, the budget allocated for future works, the procedures for utilising the ASEAN Cultural Fund and conduct the selection and approval of a host country for the 20th SCI meeting.
The 18th ASEAN SCI meeting was held in Malaysia last year and the 19th ASEAN SCI meeting hosted by Myanmar is being held from 6 to 7 March.