December 9, 2013, Seoul. The 3rd AMARC Asia Pacific Regional Conference and Assembly of Community Radio Broadcasters has concluded with a call for promoting and the diversity of voices and identities. The conference, held from 2-5 December 2013 in Seoul, South Korea has condemned the continuous, systemic and institutionalized discrimination based on sexual orientation, identities and ethnicity and has resolved to fight against discrimination.

The conference resolved to facilitate and monitor the process of transforming of broadcasting systems from analogue to digital so that the digitalization process remained friendly towards community broadcasting and that the process did not negatively impact the sustainability of community broadcasters.

The conference has called upon governments of the Asia Pacific region to respect and protect people’s right to information and communication and to introduce specific legislative provisions safeguarding the community radios in line with the principles of community broadcasting outlined in the 2010 AMARC “40 Principles of Guaranteeing Diversity and Pluralism in Broadcasting in Audiovisual Communication Services”.

While expressing condolences and solidarity to the victims and survivors of the recent natural disaster in the Philippines, the 3rd AMARC Asia Pacific conference has resolved to support relief activities through existing as well new emergency community radios. The conference has called for a greater role of community broadcasters for disaster risk reduction and risk management.

While releasing the AMARC Asia Pacific Seoul Declaration, the conference has highlighted a need for greater recognition of the important role of community radio in the area of peace building and reconciliation, climate change adaptation, promoting local food security. The declaration has resolved to continue to oppose violence against journalists and media practitioners and to resist legislative measures that would dilute the right to free and open reporting on matters of community interest or concern. It has also resolved to develop mechanisms to facilitate the sharing of resources for the enablement of community radio through the strengthening of institutional networks between donors, nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, inter-governmental bodies and community radio associations, and to work cooperatively to lobby governments for adequate funding to protect, support, promote and subsidize community radio infrastructure and operations. The Seoul declaration has resolved to ensure the inclusion of the voices of all migrant, internally displaced peoples and refugee communities in our community radios and support them in the establishment, ownership and management of their own community radios.

The 3rd AMARC Asia Pacific regional conference of community radios was participated by community broadcasters and advocates as well as representatives of governments, donor agencies and academia from over 23 countries of the Asia Pacific region. Maria Pia Matta, AMARC’s president, Emmanuel Boutterin, Deputy President, and Franklin Huizies, treasurer, also participated in this important event.

Plenary sessions and workshops were held on building synergy between community radios and human rights movement, indigenous people’s movement, and gender equality. Deliberations and discussions were held on issues ranging from legislative reforms to strengthening country level networks of community radios, from evaluating social impact of community broadcasting to status of women in community radios, from broadcasting for climate change adaptation, disaster preparedness and climate justice to enabling community broadcasting for social justice and community radio advocacy through media convergence.

The 3rd AMARC Asia Pacific Regional Assembly held on December 5, 2013 has elected a new regional board of directors. The newly elected board is led by Maica Lagman of Philippines as its President. The other members of the board are as follows:

Deputy President: Min Bahadur Shahi, Nepal

Treasurer: Junichi Hibino, Japan

WIN Representative for Asia Pacific: Nimmi Chauhan

Vice President for South Asia: Ramnath Bhat, India

Vice President for East Asia: Ahn Byoung-Cheon, South Korea

Vice President for South East Asia: Imam Prakoso, Indonesia

Vice President for Pacific: Shirley Tagi, Fiji Islands