SIGNIS World Congress 2022 Declaration
Theme: Peace in the Digital World
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth. Do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19)
We, the delegates of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, coming from 34 countries, gathered at Sogang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, from August 14–18, 2022, have discussed and deliberated on the theme "Peace in the Digital World."
As we leave this Congress with new insights, awareness, and resolve, we find a great deal to reflect on.
We live in a world where the "digital divide" increases the gap between the rich and the poor, leading to inequality in accessing the fruits of the digital revolution.
We realize that as people become hyper-connected, they are also challenged with socioeconomic, cultural, political, religious, spiritual, and ecological disconnections, leading to isolation, confusion, and hopelessness. Online games, pornography addiction, overexposure to violence, and content of divisive nature in the media lead to destructive behaviors.
We recognize the devastating effects of fake news on contemporary society, such as communal clashes among people. Vulnerable groups in society are often the major victims of fake news.
We realize that equitable digital access and infrastructure strategy can develop a 'resilient environment’ and support 'integral human development.'
We need to move from individual engagement to community building. As Pope Francis says, "God’s style is closeness, compassion, and tenderness’.
We need to weave the web with the truth and beauty of faith and hope. Technology has to be imbued with ethics and thoughtfulness.
We believe that it is possible to build a new society by creating awareness that inspires us to work together in peace with people of different cultures, beliefs, religions, and ideologies.
We affirm our genuine interest in marginalized people and commit ourselves to communicating true and meaningful information to promote their struggles.
We urge media practitioners and citizens to take action to protect the human rights of civilians caught up in war and conflict zones. Media professionals in particular are enjoined not just to report events but to engage actively in supporting the victims of war and working towards conflict resolution. By doing so, we can pass on the legacy of peace to the next generation.
We need to cultivate journalistic values if we are to advocate for justice, hold authorities to account, and establish common ground, through well-researched context and nuanced explanation, so as to provide a guiding light for our readers, viewers, and listeners.
We are heartened by the stories of young people from across the world engaged in peacebuilding. Listening to these stories of young people engaged in media activities, we realized their vital role in building communities and promoting peace through modern technologies using creative methodologies.
We extend an open invitation to the young people of the world to join hands with us in peace-building processes.
We feel we leave this Congress spiritually and professionally enriched. We believe that, through the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, we can achieve peace in the digital world.
SIGNIS World Congress, Seoul, South Korea
18 August 2022
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.