Thailand, Land Of Enlightenment …65TH Congress Of World Association Of Newspapers And New Publishers (WAN-IFRA)
By: Kenteman Nii Laryea Sowah (back from Bangkok, Thailand)
Courtesy: rLG, MTN & GOIL
Bangkok, the city of smiles and capital of Thailand, the land of enlightenment was the proud host of the 65 th Congress of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) this year.
WAN-IFRA is at the forefront as the defender of PRESS FREEDOM AND MEDIA DEVELOPMENT and is the industry representative in all international discussions on media issues. They also offer many events and training. Members receive the latest information and networking with their fellow members worldwide. WAN-IFRA organizes several conferences exhibitions and executive programmes all year round to update members on new business models, news production and distribution.
BOARD/COMMITTEE OF DIRECTORS RESOLUTION
As has been the tradition of WAN-IFRA, there was a prior meeting of the Committee of Directors and Board, as well as the General Assembly were passed resolutions before the main mammoth Congress is held. Amongst the resolutions passed which include but limited to issues of interest to the Ghanaian public were.
*WAN-IFRA to set up Regional Offices in Africa, North-America and Latin America in 2014-2015 to expand its operation globally. WAN-IFRA already has offices in Europe, Asia- Pacific & Middle East.
WAN-IFRA research and training programmes as well as Young Readers Project in Africa to be extended to Ghana.
African Union and Heads of State were called upon to adopt the 'Declaration of Table Maintain' passed in Cape-Town, South Africa in 2001 by repealing oppressive laws and Laws of Defamation which infringes upon media freedoms.
Outside the African Continent the WAN-IFRA Board called on the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Hon. David Cameron to immediately withdraw the Government is proposed Royal Charter of Self- Relegation of the press in that country and its worldwide repercussions.
PRIME MINISTER'S OPENING REMARKS
The Office of the Prime Minister of Thailand was highly supportive and part of the success story of the WAN-IFRA Congress in Bangkok. Opening the Congress at the imposing Bangkok Convention Centre, Central World Grand Hotel, the Prime Minister ably represented by Mr. Kittiratt Na-Ranong, the Deputy and Minister of Finance, admitted that newspapers are supreme in the intellectual world of media practice, since it is easily accessible in the remotest part of the country. Though on-line and social media are also playing a role in the new digital age, he stressed that the Newspaper is the source of ENLIGHTENMENT in Thailand and Is helping to shape the development agenda of the Thai Monarchy, the Thai Government as well as the Thai people.
The average visitor to Thailand will be amazed with the level of infrastructural development. Available statistics also indicate that:
Thailand is the world's largest exporter of RICE.
World's leading producer of HARDDISK DRIVES.
Third-lowest unemployment rate in the world.
The fifth largest Container Shipping nation in the world.
The level of discipline in Thailand is very high. They are law-abiding citizens. The laws of the land are implemented to the latter. It is interesting for readers to note that SPITTING on the streets or any part of Thailand is an abominable act. There are stiff penalties for spitting and littering which affect the natural environment.
On the negative side, Thailand has one of the worst motor accidents records in the world. This id due to operations of commercial motor-riders popularly referred to in Ghana as 'Okada business'. Okada is legalized in Thailand, but overloading of passenger and non-conformity to helmet usage is against the Road Traffic Safety Regulations Act.
Thailand recorded a record Tourism boom of 22million foreign visitors last year alone (2012).
Their hotels and Resort Centers scattered all over the country are amongst the neatest and have the cheapest rates in any part of the world. This writer can confess that throughout my 30-year career as a Sportswriter, Political-Journalist and Newspaper Publisher, globe-trotting to over 40 countries worldwide never have I experienced such low cost of hotel rates with its attendant juicy but 'ridiculously' low prices of cuisine services.
The next 66 th WAN-IFRA Congress takes place in Torino, Italy in June, 2014.
This writer wishes to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest thanks to the sponsors of our print Media Association rLG Communication Ltd, MTN (GH) and GOIL for providing sponsorship package to cover Conference Registration Fee, Return-Air-Ticket and Hotel Accommodation. I am most Grateful
*The writer is the Executive Secretary of the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) an Ex-Media Commissioner and a Member of the Committee of Directors of the World Association of Newspaper and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
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