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3rd ASEF Journalists' Colloquium: Building Interfaith Harmony Through The Media

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
20 Jul 05 - 20 Jul 05 Asia-Europe Foundation Communications Department ASEF Journalists' Colloquium Intercommunal Dialogue



Venue:
Bali (Indonesia)

OVERVIEW

Thirteen senior editors, columnists, correspondents, and reporters from a dozen Asian and European countries attended this colloquium, with the following objectives in mind:

- To discuss their experiences in reporting on interfaith diversity in the countries of the two regions

- To generate recommendations that could be incorporated into the ASEM conference's Working Group on the Role of the Media in Building Interfaith Harmony, on ways to enhance the level and quality of media coverage on the efforts by ASEM members to tackle such sensitive issues

- To promote greater media attention on issues relating to Asia-Europe relations

Addressing participants at the start of the colloquium, Indonesian Foreign Ministry Director-General Arizal Effendi noted the media's important role in promoting inter- and intra-faith dialogue. He urged the media to help to "mainstream commonalities and shared values" across societies and mitigate the danger of efforts by irresponsible groups to exploit ignorance and fear to achieve their political ambitions, often using violence.

UK Minister of State Kim Howells, in his opening address, stressed the need to involve the media more imaginatively to communicate the cause of mutual respect and tolerance.

The colloquium's conclusions were reiterated for further discussion by guest moderator and civil society expert Endy Bayuni (Chief Editor, Jakarta Post). These points were further translated into resolutions for practical action in the conference's final document, titled the “Bali Declaration On Building Interfaith Harmony Within The International Community." In the declaration, participants pledged to promote interfaith dialogue and the shared values of peace, compassion, and tolerance in the following areas:

- Education

- Culture

- Media

- Religion and society