Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Forum mondial des médias : «La télévision, médium de communication le plus puissant, peut également être un formidable outil de progrès»

M. KOFI ANNAN, Secrétaire général de l’Organisation des Nations Unies (ONU) - ONU, le 18 novembre 2003 - 2003/11/18

On the occasion of World Television Day, Mr. Annan declared that the first World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to be held in Geneva is an “opportunity we must seize upon” to debate a wide variety of issues. The event will pay special attention to ways of harnessing information technology (including television) for development. It will also discuss press freedom and cultural diversity. In this respect, Mr. Annan noted that “freedom of the press is essential to our efforts to build an open, inclusive information society, and to peace and development in general. But the flow of information ought not be one way only, from North to South; this has led to a burgeoning ‘content divide’ that threatens to overwhelm or marginalize local views and voices. We must find ways to address this situation, and to preserve and promote cultural and linguistic diversity—without infringing on media freedoms. Press freedom and pluralism of content can, and must, develop together in the information society.” (Available also in French)