By Piyaporn Wongruang
The chief of the United Nations’ climate-change body called on journalists yesterday not just to report news events, but also to help “connect the dots” so people can understand links in major phenomena, such as the connection between climate change and m
“Use news events to connect the dots,” Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said at the closing ceremony of a global media forum in Germany. “Point them out to the general public, the implications, what it means, connecting the dots.”
Her plea comes at a time when freedom of speech is seen as plunging because of more restrictions imposed by authoritarian governments in several countries as well as the emerging challenges the media are encountering across the world, including the rise of new-media technology.
At the same forum, “Media Freedom Values”, held by the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, the global media community was also called upon to stand up for freedom of expression and press freedom.
This annual event is also seen as a way to unite media from across the world via networking. More than 2,000 participants from more than 100 countries were present and climate change was one of the key issues discussed.
Figueres said the international climate-change conference in Paris last year was not simply a news event that the media should report, but also a historic event that people everywhere should learn about.
Not only did almost all of the world’s countries come together to make an unanimous decision, this agreement will bind those countries together under the same rules. Furthermore, they have recognised it as the first step on a path forward that is now much clearer.
But as the work is moving forward, there are also negative trends, including the continued increase of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.
This, she said, has caused other problems including the mass migration to Europe, citing the strong relationship between severe drought in some parts of Syria that caused people to lose their land and flee their homeland.
Figueres called on the media to keep up with such issues of importance to people’s lives.
“If there is one common or ultimate interest, it’s peace, and we are having an opportunity now to plant the ground of peace, rather than walking into more and more conflict,” she said.