1. The Sixth Conference of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information was held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam on 12-13 October 2000.
2. The Conference was attended by H.E. Pehin Dato Haji Awang Hussain Md. Yusof, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Brunei Darussalam; H.E. Mr. Lu Lay Sreng, Senior Minister and Minister of Information of the Kingdom of Cambodia; H.E. Mr. M. Ryaas Rasyid, Minister of State for Administrative Reforms of the Republic of Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Sileua Bounkham, Minister of Information and Culture of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic; H.E. Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob, Minister of Information of Malaysia; H.E. Brigadier General Aung Thein, Deputy Minister of Information of the Union of Myanmar; H.E. Mr. Jorge V. Arizabal, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam; H.E. Mr. Lee Yock Suan, Minister for Information and the Arts of Singapore; H.E. Khunying Supatra Masdit, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office of Thailand; H.E. Mr. Nguyen Khoa Diem, Minister of Culture and Information of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam; H.E. Mr. Rodolfo C. Severino, Jr., Secretary-General of ASEAN; and their respective delegations.
3. The Conference was opened by H.E. Mr. Nguyen Manh Cam, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Vietnam. Mr. Nguyen Khoa Diem, Minister of Culture and Information of Vietnam and H.E. Pehin Dato Haji Awang Hussain Md. Yusof, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Brunei Darussalam were elected as Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Conference.
4. The Ministers were briefed by the Outgoing Chairperson, H.E. Khunying Supatra Masdit, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office of Thailand on developments that have taken place since the Fifth Conference of AMRI held in Bangkok in July 1998.
ASEAN Satellite Channel
5. The Ministers agreed that the Channel would help promote the awareness of ASEAN. However, recognising the financial concerns of some Member Countries in implementing the project, the Ministers agreed to defer the establishment of the Channel. At the same time, the Ministers agreed to strengthen the existing cooperation on exchanges of television programmes and to give additional airtime for broadcasting ASEAN news, programmes and features. The Meeting requested Member Countries to further explore the involvement of private broadcasting channels to take part in the promotion of ASEAN awareness.
ASEAN Website on Culture and Information
6. The Ministers agreed on the importance of enhancing and maintaining the ASEAN Website on Culture and Information and encouraged its continuous updating, expansion and promotion.
7. The Ministers agreed that ASEAN should explore further cooperation and opportunity in making full use of the Internet as an effective vehicle for promoting ASEAN awareness.
8. The Ministers also agreed that the Internet Forum be held regularly with the objective of exchanging views and experiences in minimizing the negative impact, particularly on children and youth, and maximizing the benefits of Internet technology.
Implementation of the Hanoi Plan of Action
9. The Ministers agreed that the national information agencies of Member Countries and ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (ASEAN-COCI) continue to undertake promotional activities, campaigns and programmes in support of the Hanoi Plan of Action.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of the National Communication Plans to Promote ASEAN Awareness and Understanding
10. The Ministers noted that each Member Country has formulated a National Communication Plan to promote ASEAN which will be integrated into the regular information programmes of their information agencies.
11. Reaffirming the need to intensify efforts in raising awareness of ASEAN, the Ministers expressed their commitment to support the national communication campaigns by adopting the Memorandum of Understanding on National Communication Plans to Promote ASEAN Awareness and Understanding.
12. H.E. Mr. Rodolfo C. Severino, Jr., the Secretary-General of ASEAN briefed the Conference on the vital importance of public information for the economic competitiveness of ASEAN countries, individually and collectively, in the age of globalization.
Image of ASEAN
13. The Ministers, in a round-table discussion, deliberated on the need for an immediate program of action to address the current image problem of ASEAN as mandated on the Hanoi Plan of Action.
14. The Ministers strongly recommended that in view of current perceptions about ASEAN and their effects on its image and work, ASEAN should plan and formulate strategies that will harness in a coordinated way available resources to advance and reinforce a positive international profile of ASEAN supportive of its interests, policies, programs and goals. The Ministers requested the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information to immediately carry out this recommendation. They agreed to review this matter again at their next conference.
Closing and Acknowledgement
15. The Ministers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and people of Viet Nam for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements contributing to the success of the Conference. The Ministers also thanked the ASEAN Secretariat for its invaluable assistance in facilitating the discussions during the Conference.
16. The Conference was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN solidarity and friendship.