Tajikistan hosts OSCE-supported World Press Freedom Day conference


DUSHANBE (TCA) — On May 3, journalists and media experts from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Afghanistan gathered to celebrate World Press Freedom Day in Dushanbe at the international conference Promoting Mass Media to the Sustainable Development of Peace and Democracy.

Some 130 Tajik and international journalists and high-ranking representatives of the government and the parliament participated in the conference. The event was jointly organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe and the Tajik Media Council.

“The annual commemoration of World Press Freedom Day reminds all of us of the importance of freedom of expression for a democratic society. The OSCE takes pride in being the only international security organization which has enshrined freedom of expression and freedom of the media in its comprehensive concept of security,” said Fejzo Numanaj, Acting Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe.

“Media freedom and access to information feed into the wider development objective of empowering people. Empowerment is a multi-dimensional social and political process that helps people gain control over their own lives. This can only be achieved through access to accurate, fair and unbiased information,” said Numanaj.

During the conference, the participants discussed challenges for media in the era of digitalization and ways to strengthen the economic, legal and ethical basis of the activities of the media as a factor in ensuring their freedom and independence. They also discussed new technologies and trends, their impacts on the freedom of speech and the enhancement of democratic values.

As a result of the conference, the participants developed a list of recommendations addressed to the governments of the Central Asian countries.

During the conference, the Tajik Media Council announced the winners of the Etimod/Trust Award for journalists, which honours the best compliance with the Code of Conduct of Journalists of Tajikistan.

The conference was conducted with the financial support of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe, the Open Society Institute – Assistance Foundation in Tajikistan, the embassies of the United Kingdom and the United States in Tajikistan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Internews Network Tajikistan.

Sergey Kwan