The 19th ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI) Subcommittee on Information (SCI) meeting was held at Sky Star Hotel, Tamway Township, Yangon, yesterday.
The meeting, hosted by Myanmar, is being held from 6 to 7 March, and following are the interviews with the participants at the meeting.
Dr. Pe Myint, Union Minister for Information
The 19th ASEAN SCI meeting will primarily discuss how to distribute information and news for cooperation among ASEAN countries in the information and other related sectors, for ASEAN countries and countries outside of the ASEAN region to be aware of each other, find better ways to increase cooperation and to achieve better outcomes and results. Delegates from 10 ASEAN countries will discuss the implementation of the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media. Later, they will also issue a press release. ASEAN countries will mainly cooperate and conduct matters related to the exchange of news and information. They will discuss and find solutions on media-related problems occurring in many countries. For example, the problem of fake news that came to the foreground last year will be discussed. This problem exists in ASEAN countries, as well as other countries. Information and experience will be shared and exchanged among ASEAN countries to determine how to handle and resolve this issue. Many benefits will be achieved through this.
U Myint Htway, 19th SCI meeting chairman and Myanma Radio and Television Director General
Several matters being discussed at this meeting will support the information sector. This includes cooperation among ASEAN countries in the information sector and exchange of news and programmes to develop human resources. Today’s meeting will review the projects completed in the past. Incomplete projects will be completed. Projects that are still underway will be discussed. Discussions will also be held on how to implement these projects successfully. Projects to be conducted in 2019 will also be discussed at the meeting.
Discussions will be held during the SCI working-level meeting. After the discussion, some projects will be approved. Those with high expenditures will be submitted to the COCI meeting, where they will be discussed. The COCI minister-level meeting will confirm and approve these expenditures. In future, cooperation will be enhanced for development. This will also be discussed as a sector at the meeting.
ASEAN countries will engage in the exchange of television programmes. Facts and cultural information related to a country will be uploaded onto the designated ASEAN website, where it will be shared. It will be shared in the respective country’s language and literature. By doing this, a country will know about other countries. Myanmar will upload three or four programmes a month. Programmes posted by other countries can also be viewed by Myanmar. The main point of discussion is for the private media to connect with us. This is also being considered.
U Zeya, director, Myanmar Radio and Television
These meetings were held annually according to the alphabetical order of the ASEAN countries. This year, it is being hosted by Myanmar. In the ASEAN, there are political and social communities, the economic community and the ASEAN socio-cultural community. Of the three, to implement the processes of the ASEAN socio-cultural community, a cultural subcommittee and information subcommittee were formed.
The information subcommittee will be chaired by Myanmar in 2018. Next year, according to alphabetical order, it will be the Philippines. At the information subcommittee meetings, the means of cooperation in media will be conducted for the people to provide them with knowledge about the ASEAN and to make them proud citizens of the ASEAN.
Discussions will be held on how to have more video/audio programmes that raise the ASEAN family spirit. Later, a discussion will be conducted on how to utilise the ASEAN cultural fund, and how to select the projects and the country.
A discussion will be held on the future work processes of the ASEAN information subcommittee. It will continue for one-and-a-half day — a full-day today and up until noon tomorrow.
During the period when Myanmar is the chair of the information subcommittee, a concept paper was drawn and submitted about women business owners in the ASEAN for the 10 countries to discuss. As an ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, Korea) project, a concept paper needs to be implemented to conduct a youth radio producer workshop. Regular programmes on the ASEAN will be translated and broadcast.
There will be cooperation in the joint production of radio programmes, exchange and broadcasting of television programmes, holding of ASEAN quiz programmes and the exchange of ASEAN journalists.
Has Sam Ath, deputy director general, Cambodia Ministry of Information
There is no memorandum of understanding on media cooperation between Cambodia and Myanmar. However, in the last few years, bilateral cooperation has increased.
At the moment, Myanmar and Cambodia lag behind in sharing and distributing news and information with each other. However, more news will be broadcast and bilateral media cooperation will be increased.
Mufidah Binti Abdul Hakim, information officer, Brunei Darussalam
Increasing cooperation in the information sector by the ASEAN countries will be discussed at the meeting. It will be beneficial to the people and will help countries in the ASEAN community understand each other.
Interview by: Thadin Lulin, Yi Yi Myint, Myat Sandi
Photo by: Zaw Min Latt, Ye Htut