The 19th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials Responsible for Information (19th SOMRI), under the theme “ASEAN: A Digital Community with Accessibility for All,” was hosted by the Government Public Relations Department of Thailand. It was a great opportunity to sharpen Thailand’s leadership in media and public relations in the ASEAN Community. Senior officials from 10 ASEAN member states were in attendance.
Theeraphat Prayurasiddhi, Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office as chair of the meeting said the 10 ASEAN member states reaffirmed their cooperation to push forward ASEAN’s media and information work on issues such as the response to the COVID-19 situation, the health security of the global community, climate change, human resource development, sustainable development, and the management of fake news and misinformation, as well as connectivity and economic participation.
The goal is to encourage people, both Thais and others throughout ASEAN, to take all available opportunities to know, understand, and access accurate information that improves their quality of life.
Regarding the meeting’s outcomes, the permanent secretary believes that the citizens of ASEAN will benefit from the promotion of collaboration within ASEAN, as well as exchanging information on COVID-19 more accurately and quickly, without becoming victims of fake news.
All people – including disabled people, the elderly, and underprivileged people – can access and take advantage of digital innovations to move toward becoming part of the digital community. On the issue of digital readiness, ASEAN citizens will be able to enhance and develop their digital skills and learn how to make use of digital technology. People will be able to create application products and services to achieve the goals of building ASEAN in the digital age, such as new channels for education and employment. (NNT)