What was once envisioned by the founders of ASEAN when they signed the 1967 Bangkok’s declaration probably not until this far. ASEAN just become a symbol of the organization. Now with the changing times. State boundaries perhaps is no longer exist. Later in 2015, ASEAN was transformed into a society intact. Blogger and social media can hold this role.
Today bloggers from ASEAN countries plus approxmately 100 bloggers from all cities in Indonesia, gathered at the Museum Pasifika, Nusa Dua – Bali ASEAN. 1st BLOGGER CONFERENCE held in conjunction with the 19th ASEAN summit.
The host, the ASEAN Blogger Community (ABC) of the Chapter Indonesia, was established through the Jakarta Declaration of 10 May 2011 by representatives of bloggers from all over Indonesia. The establishment of the ASEAN blogger community was initiated by the Indonesian bloggers, taking advantage of the Indonesian chairmanship of ASEAN in 2011. Indonesian bloggers hope other chapters from its counterparts in 10 member-countries of ASEAN will follow suit.
The main agenda of the 2-day meeting of the 1st ASEAN Blogger Conference, are among others, exchange of views and experience among ASEAN bloggers, including best practices in their respective countries, in taking advantage of the positive side of rapid development of the social media, and to reach all ASEAN people at the grass-root level and to involve them in the process of ASEAN community establishment.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Tiffatul Sembiring officially opened this conference.
During my opening speech, particulary I was stressing the spirit of solidarity. I also welcomed all friends of bloggers from south-east Asian region and also in attendance from all over Indonesia. I apologize if there are any mistakes. It is not perfect, because we prepared independently. It’s only natural we receives a curse, or assume that we are not professional to conducting this event. We had trouble thinking of seeking funding and sponsorship to be able to bring friends to Bali. So finally we had to reduce the number of attendees.
There are specific points that it tries to achieve in this conference, which is trying to create understanding among the bloggers that will be poured in a declaration form.
It’s not easy to reach an agreement. Tonyo Cruz – from Phillipina and Anirudh – from Cambodia, are eager to enter the phrase ‘freedom of expression’ explicitly. While Minh of Vietnam, Irwan and Kamarul from Brunei tend to be very cautious. This is understandable because of differences in culture of democracy in each country of ASEAN. Of course we can not impose standards of “freedom” as those enjoyed in Indonesia.
Eventually agreement was reached in the form of ASEAN ways. This is the spirit and solidarity of ASEAN, because we are one big family in the end. The plenary was led by Herman Saksono, blogger from Jogjakarta finally met this conclusion as follows :
1. We, the ASEAN bloggers, gathered in Bali, on 16th November 2011, aligned with the 19th ASEAN Summit, acknowledge the role and contributions of social media for the establishment of ASEAN Community 2015.
2. We, the ASEAN bloggers, aspire to seek the freedom of expressions among us as enshrined in Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
3. We, the ASEAN bloggers, in the spirit of partnership and solidarity among the family of people from ASEAN countries, independent of political influence, are determined to use social media in the development of ASEAN’s political, economic, and social-cultural potentials with the aim to promote understanding among ASEAN people.
4. We, the ASEAN bloggers, are determined to develop cooperation in all fields under ASEAN’s One Vision, One Identity, and One Community.
5. We, the ASEAN bloggers, are committed to ethical and positive demeanor, respectful of the rights of authors attached to articles, photos, and videos, and other creative products.
6. We, the ASEAN bloggers commit to:
a. Declare the 16th November as the ASEAN Bloggers’ Day.
b. Develop communication platforms, both at the national and the sub-regional levels, taking into account the interest of people participation in the rural areas of ASEAN countries.
c. Organize future activities to encourage closer contact among bloggers.
d. Mandate the Indonesian ASEAN Blogger Community President to coordinate and communicate to all their counterparts from ASEAN countries regarding development and progress achieved in accordance with the Declaration.
7. We, the ASEAN bloggers, encourage all bloggers to join our efforts in making this Declaration a reality.
Declared in Bali, 16th November 2011.
Of course this is not stopping here. The most important thing, hard work and commitment to realize what is written in the declaration above.