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Icapp highlights press role in democracy

Forum emphasized local media’s part in Park impeachment
July 10,2017
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Democratic Party Rep. Park Young-sun, fourth from right, newly elected co-chairperson of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (Icapp) Media Forum, chairs the Asia Europe Political Forum at the Plaza Hotel on Sunday, attended by politicians and journalists from some 15 countries. [YONHAP]
At the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (Icapp) Media Forum in central Seoul on Friday, some 100 journalists and politicians from in and around Asia emphasized the role of the media in democracy, highlighting its role in the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.

“After learning that the press and media played a critical role in the recent developments that occurred in Korea, including the corruption and cronyism scandal, massive candlelight rallies, impeachment, and the presidential election seven months ahead of the original schedule, we shared the view that the press and media should carry out an important function for the development of society and strengthening of the democratic political system,” Icapp said in the Seoul Statement adopted at the forum.

“In this regard, it was stressed that the press must be a ‘watch-dog’ always monitoring the corruption of power based on the surveillance of environment; that the press must play a role of ‘moderator’ to mediate social conflicts and be a public-sphere for social integration; moreover, that the press must build society’s agendas through constant communications with civil society using various media, including the internet, SMS, social media and direct contacts.”

Park was impeached and removed from office in March for allowing an inner circle to secretly influence state affairs for its private gain.

The Icapp Media Forum, first launched in Seoul in 2015, was the third since the establishment of Icapp in Manila in 2000. Since its establishment, Icapp has worked to enhance mutual understanding and trust among Asian countries by promoting exchanges and cooperation between political parties with various ideologies from different Asian countries.

“We would like to believe that with this media forum organized by the Icapp, we would like to have the capacity to regain something invaluable in communication that has been lost for some time, and that is the sacrosanct concept of responsibility,” said Jose de Venecia Jr., founding chairman and chairman of the standing committee of Icapp. “Let us take the responsibility for the information online that we convey as truth, as facts.

“In concert with others in the Icapp community and our brethren in Europe and in the world, let us employ the power of media and the Internet to transform lives, institutions and government functions in a positive way.”

The media forum also elected Democratic Party Rep. Park Young-sun as the co-chairperson of the Icapp Media Forum.

On Sunday, Icapp held the first Asia Europe Political Forum, which it said is the “first periodic consultative channel between the politicians of Asia and Europe.”

The three days of Icapp meetings were sponsored by the National Assembly and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and joined by the Speaker of the National Assembly Chung Sye-kyun, President of the Icapp Parliamentarians’ Union of the National Assembly Lee Hye-hoon, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun. Participating countries included Azerbaijan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Korea and Malaysia.

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]