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Meeting of major Asia-Pacific news agencies opens in Bahrain

June 16, 2014, 16:08 UTC+3
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MANAMA, June 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The Executive Board of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) opened its 37th annual meeting in the capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain on Monday under the chair of the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.

The meeting, which was organized by the OANA jointly with the Bahrain News Agency (BNA), is taking place at the country’s main business center Sofitel.

OANA President, ITAR-TASS Director-General Sergei Mikhailov has sent his welcoming address to the forum’s participants. The message was read out by OANA Secretary-General, ITAR-TASS First Deputy Director-General Mikhail Gusman.

The welcoming address stresses that “OANA has become a major mass media floor for direct and free information exchanges in the Asia-Pacific Region. This holds special value for all of us, because the organization’s member countries account for the lion’s share - two-thirds - of the world news flows.”

The OANA President believes that “the role and responsibility of news agencies, whose mission is to provide exclusively reliable information, are soaring.” “”It will not be an exaggeration to say that the media picture of the world depends on us, on how successful we are in our day-to-day efforts, and on our cooperation,” the welcoming address says.

During the meeting, representatives of major news agencies from more than 20 countries will participate in the work of the Executive Committee and the organization’s special technical committees.

A joint session of the OANA and the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA) is planned to take place. During the first part of the meeting, its participants approved the decisions adopted at the organization’s General Assembly in Moscow in 2013.

The forum’s participants have also decided that the next meeting of the OANA Executive Board will take place in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, on February 12-15, 2015.

The heads of major news agencies will focus on the problems of cross-media communications, changes on the information market and the role of the media in the process of globalization. The forum will hear reports on the prospects and basic principles of the development of modern media institutions. The forum’s experts will focus on elaborating and approving a uniform code of work of OANA member agencies, including measures to protect journalists’ rights and freedoms, contribute to the unbiased coverage of events, especially in countries with a tense situation.

As part of the OANA Executive Board’s meeting, an opening ceremony of the photo exhibition of the news agencies’ best works was held.

A central event at the forum will be a meeting of the forum’s delegates with Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

“The Kingdom of Bahrain, its leadership and people support the initiatives aimed at achieving peace and accord at the regional and international levels. Our principal goal is to combine the efforts of all media to accomplish tasks facing all of us,” Bahrain News Agency head Mohannad Suleiman Al-Noaimi stressed in an interview with ITAR-TASS.

“In this respect, the OANA offers a unique opportunity to establish such interaction. This meeting has been arranged with the support of Russia, with which we have the relations of friendship and we intend to develop them further in all areas.”

The Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies was established on the UNESCO initiative in 1961 to promote alternative points of view on global developments and uphold the idea of a multi-polar world. The OANA incorporates 44 news agencies from 35 countries and is the biggest media organization in the world. The OANA member countries account for two-thirds of the world news flows.

At the OANA General Assembly session in Moscow in September 2013, ITAR-TASS was elected to preside over the world’s largest media organization for three years. ITAR-TASS Director-General Sergei Mikhailov was elected as head of that organization and ITAR-TASS First Deputy Director-General Mikhail Gusman was elected as OANA's Secretary-General.

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