The Association for International Broadcasting and the Presidency of the United Nations Economic and Social Council staged a conference on July 15 to explore the relationship between media companies, journalists and the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The President of the Economic and Social Council, Collen Vixen Kelapile, opened the event, which brought together hundreds of participants from over 30 countries to discuss the media’s role in achieving sustainability and ensuring citizens in every country understand the need for the planet’s inhabitants to move toward greater sustainability.
The media as a vital stakeholder
In his opening address, Kelapile noted, “the media industry is a vital stakeholder in achieving the SDGs. It is key in promoting solidarity and reinforcing accountability from the global leaders so that they take the necessary bold decisions.”
He continued, “Fair and accurate reporting is very important, and it’s a must in this process. Let us send a strong call to action to journalists in every country to engage in support of the achievement of the SDGs and to hold power to account”. He added that the U.N. wanted to hear from the media on how the U.N., the individual member states, and the media could become better partners in achieving the SDGs.
Media’s social responsibility initiatives
The conference heard from four journalists who are actively engaged in telling stories about sustainability to audiences worldwide: David Shukman, former BBC science editor; Steve Herman, a national correspondent with Voice of America; Aida Salihbegović, producer with Balkan Booster; and Angelina Kariakina, head of news with Ukraine Public Broadcasting.
Georgia Arnold, executive director of the MTV Foundation, and SVP and head of VIS: social impact with Paramount Global, discussed the role of media companies in developing sustainable corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Concluding the event, AIB chief executive Simon Spanswick said the forum was the first of a series to be organized with the United Nations. The aim will be to explore practical ways for the global media industry to support storytelling around the SDGs and the need to protect the planet.
The full conference is available to watch here.
Image: Unsplash/Greg Rosenke