More than 700 representatives from political, media and scholarly circles in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe, Northern America and the Middle East have attended the two-day Asia Media Summit 2012 in Bangkok.

Addressing the opening session on May 29, Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Noeleen Heyzer called on Asia-Pacific media agencies to use all skills and resources to further promote sustainable development, the biggest challenge of the region, to ensure more people benefit from development.

Heyzer said Asia-Pacific media agencies should become actively involved in and raise journalists’ capacity in disseminating information on sustainable development.

At present, the Asia-Pacific region lags behind in implementing 10 out of 22 indicators of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he said, emphasising the important role of media agencies in pushing for MDGs implementation and challenges overcoming to narrow the development gap among countries in the region.

Director of Asia-Pacific of the United Nations Millennium Programme Minar Pimple said during the final process of implementing MDGs, regional mass media should play an active role in urging their governments to turn commitments into specific activities as well as take part in development programmes following MDGs and public policy programmes.

UNESCO General Director Irina Bokova highlighted the media’s role in society, politics and economics, saying that the press is upholding its important role in global sustainable development.-VNA