Advanced Television

UN calls on media companies to collaborate on sustainability

April 15, 2024

Opening a global webinar on media and sustainability organised by the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB), United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Melissa Fleming, called on all media companies to “join forces to be true changemakers”.

Addressing the audience of media leaders and sustainability experts, Fleming said: “Today, I urge all of you to continue these kinds of collaborations to scale up your sustainable development initiatives to innovate on screen and off for the SDGs and to create content that engages your audiences with urgent global efforts to achieve them.”

The AIB is leading the development of the Global Media Sustainability Initiative (GMSI), an effort supported by the United Nations through the UN SDG Media Compact to leverage the global media industry in promoting and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During a webinar hosted by the AIB on April 11th, UN officials, along with media industry leaders, highlighted the critical role of the media in shaping a sustainable future.

The GMSI serves as a platform where media companies worldwide can collaborate, share innovative practices, and create impactful content that addresses urgent global issues such as climate change, gender equality, and health. The initiative, as part of the UN SDG Media Compact, has already attracted media organisations globally, ranging from broadcasters in Africa to publishers in Europe and multimedia companies across the Americas.

Simon Spanswick, CEO of the AIB, remarked on the initiative’s importance, saying: “Today, we stand at a crucial juncture where the power of media to inform and motivate the public is more critical than ever. The GMSI not only aims to unite media companies in a shared mission but also to inspire action that contributes directly to a sustainable future.”

The webinar detailed the initiative’s structure, which will focus on four core areas: increasing public awareness of the SDGs, combating misinformation, training storytellers, commissioners and journalists, and making media companies more sustainable themselves. Notable contributions from media veterans and development experts, such as Georgia Arnold, co-founder and until recently Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Victor Olvera, Senior Economist at the World Bank, underscored the effectiveness of media in driving societal change and influencing policy at both local and international levels.

Chris Jackson, SVP US Public Affairs at global research company Ipsos, demonstrated public perception of the SDGs in multiple markets, and how citizens in different countries rank the importance of the 17 SDGs personally. The conclusion is that there is much work to be done to achieve awareness of the SDGs, let alone effect societal change on the issues the SDGs seek to address.

Fleming emphasised the importance of the media’s involvement, adding: “Media organisations are essential partners in the fight against global challenges. Through the SDG Media Compact, we aim to catalyse actions within the industry, helping to drive advocacy, action, and progress towards the SDGs.”

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Services

Tags: , ,