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ABU GA – ABU pledges to continuing role as bridge between nations

The ABU will continue to act as a bridge between developed and less developed broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific, its leadership has pledged.

Speaking to media at the start of the formal sessions of the Union’s 49th General Assembly in Seoul, Korea, the President and Secretary General both pledged continuing support for broadcasters in poorer or less developed nations. 

ABU President Dr Kim In-Kyu said Asia was the most diverse continent and the ABU had to be an “in-between channel” to understand each other and enhance exchange.

He said there was a wide divide both economically and digitally in the Asia-Pacific region. While countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea were broadcasting in High Definition television, some of the Pacific countries in particular were being left behind. 

“We try to narrow this divide between the developing and developed countries,” Dr Kim said, adding that the ABU extended from Afghanistan to Fiji and was involving countries as diverse as Iran and North Korea.

He said negotiations over broadcast rights for the Olympics, World Cup football and other international sporting events demonstrated the value of the ABU. Fees were rising and broadcasters did not want to purchase rights directly, they wanted the ABU to continue to negotiate on their behalf.

Dr Kim said FIFA and the IOC wanted to negotiate directly with broadcasters, so the ABU had to strike a balance to represent the interests of its membership. 

“In the future, the ABU will continue to do its best to provide major sporting events broadcasting rights to its members,” he said.

ABU Secretary General Dr Javad Mottaghi said hosting an international media gathering such as the General Assembly gave media leaders the chance to exchange views and experiences, to learn from each other and find solutions to the challenges of whatever it may be, digital technologies, content or the expectations of their audiences back home.

He said 720 participants from about 60 countries gathered in Seoul was a unique opportunity to share their views and develop partnerships.

Dr Kim added that, as well as workshops and forums and initiative such as the Seoul Declaration which would outline the ABU vision, he was especially pleased with events such as the inaugural ABU Radio and Television Song Festivals, which provided platforms to promote the best of Asian and Pacific cultures.