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ITU SG Video Message - Asia Media Summit

Video Message by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

Asia Media Summit

26 May 2010, Beijing, China





Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to address you today at the Asia Media Summit in Beijing. I am equally pleased that broadcast technology makes it possible for me to be with you virtually, if not in person.

ITU has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development. AIBD’s contribution to broadcasting in the region is well recognized. In particular, its achievements in building the capacity of broadcast media practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region has fostered a robust broadcast environment and enhanced digital opportunities. By providing an international platform for media dialogue, AIBD has contributed to meeting the development goals of the region.

The Asia Media Summit provides a unique opportunity for broadcasters in the region to share their experiences and best practices. The focus on issues such as public trust in media, media ethics, media freedom, universal access to content, community broadcasting, media and migration, and copyright as well as global challenges such as health pandemics and climate change are extremely relevant in an era of rising expectations from the media. Broadcast media has a pervasive influence on the general public and it is critical that their independence is respected if they are to remain credible.

The ongoing digital revolution in ICT has made a profound impact on how the world functions, interacts and communicates. These technologies are powerful instruments for increasing productivity and generating economic growth. They are catalysts for creating new opportunities for higher levels of development and quality of life for all.

In the Digital Age, Asia is a source of inspiration and innovation and presents unparalleled opportunities. The region has surpassed all expectations in connectivity. China alone has over 650 million mobile phone subscribers and India, 350 million.

The footprint of broadcast TV is widespread across the region, making it an effective vehicle for the dissemination of information and knowledge and act as a catalyst to meet the development goals. Intelligent, in-depth reporting must be encouraged along with relevant strategies to reach out to a wider, global audience. The region’s rich diversity in culture, literature and the arts, languages and religions provide a potent mix of creativity that lends itself to excellent programming for a global audience.

Ladies and gentlemen,

ITU’s work in developing telecommunication and radiocommunication standards for ICTs underpins the entire global communications framework. ITU’s standards for broadcast TV have heralded innovation and development since its earliest days and ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector has a track record of agreeing standards for television formats.

HDTV is fast becoming the established standard for television worldwide.

And now 3D TV has caught the public imagination as an exciting new viewing experience. The rollout of 3-D enabled TV sets is underway and plans have been announced for broadcast of 3D television services.

Recently, ITU received accolades from the entertainment industry and a Prime Time TV Emmy from Hollywood for an advanced video coding standard, H.264 that extends the reach of high quality video from mobile telephones right through to High Definition Television.

The transition from analogue to digital terrestrial television is destined to transform the communication landscape and have a huge impact on the future growth and development of broadcast TV. The digital switch over to terrestrial broadcast services for sound and television agreed at the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference will leapfrog existing technologies to connect the unconnected in underserved and remote communities. The digital dividend accruing from efficiencies in spectrum usage will allow more channels to be carried across fewer airwaves and lead to greater convergence of services.

The inherent flexibility offered by digital terrestrial broadcasting will support mobile reception of video, Internet and multimedia data, making applications, services and information accessible and usable anywhere and at any time. It opens the door to new innovations such as Handheld TV Broadcast — or DVB-H — along with HDTV while providing greater bandwidth to existing mobile, fixed and radionavigation services.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Asia Media Summit meeting here in Beijing provides a unique opportunity for broadcasters and media professionals, decision makers and academics to examine new perspectives on media strategies and to outline a clear vision for future growth and development. I wish you the very best in your deliberations over the next two days.

Thank you.