Burma, UN Hold Discussions on New Media Laws

Posted March 22nd, 2012 at 4:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

In conjunction with the Burmese government, the United Nations' cultural agency staged the first meeting of a workshop examining the Burmese government's relationship with the media.

In Rangoon, the joint workshop held by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and officials with Burma's Ministry of Information began with two days of discussions on proposed laws overseeing the press, publishing and printing. The draft law covering video broadcasting was later discussed in the capital, Naypyitaw.

The main elements of the proposed laws include establishing an independent press council and broadcast council and a framework for new online media.

UNESCO says discussions focused on respecting international standards of freedom of expression as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Bambang Harymutri, an Indonesian media expert who facilitated the workshops for UNESCO, says Burma has the advantage of learning from the mistakes other nations have made in the field of media law and development.

The new media laws are part of the efforts at democratic reforms undertaken by Burma's new military-backed government since replacing the long-standing military junta last year.