Global Issues Define Agenda of Eurasian Media Forum

ASTANA – On April 25, the eleventh Eurasian Media Forum provided an opportunity for prominent international politicians, media personalities and experts to discuss issues of the greatest concern for the global community.

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev opened the forum with an address to participants. He noted that it was highly symbolic that, for the second time, the forum was taking place in the recently established KazMediaCentre, Astana’s newest premier location for TV and radio stations.

“Over its eleven-year history, the Eurasian Media Forum has become a unique platform for opinion exchange among politicians, experts and the journalistic community,” the president said.Nazarbayev also noted that he was glad that the agenda of the forum included discussions on the prospects of the Eurasian Economic Union.

“I would like to emphasise the contribution of the forum to the development of Eurasian integration,” he stated. He also stressed the importance of the session dedicated to the development of online journalism, a process he has called very significant both for Kazakhstan and for global media.

“Media is becoming more than just the broadcaster of ongoing events – it now largely takes on the power of a leading entity that defines the course of events in individual countries and the entire world. Undoubtedly, the grassroots of online journalism is a new stage of media development. It provides media with virtually unlimited opportunities,” President Nazarbayev said.

“In general, the increasing role of the media leads to the birth of a new kind of media, which I would call ‘the mass innovation media’, that sets high development standards not only in economics, but also in politics, social life, and the spiritual and moral state of society.” This is precisely why the first document adopted after the announcement of the Kazakh government’s Strategy 2050 plan last December was the Innovative Kazakhstan 2030 government programme, he said. The president reminded participants of the forum that this document sets large-scale tasks for the technical and conceptual modernisation of the national media space and its transformation into an important mechanism for improving social competitiveness in the global world in the 21st century.

According to the president, the topics of every session of the two-day event, which include discussions on regional security in Central Asia after the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014, green economy and EXPO 2017, the situation in the Middle East, Eurasian Economic Union integration, information security and media trends of the 21st century are all of great importance for the world.

Chairwoman of the Eurasian Media Forum organising committee Dariga Nazarbayeva concluded the official part of the forum’s opening ceremony. In her address, Nazarbayeva, who is also the chair of the Mazhilis Social and Cultural Development Committee and the eldest daughter of the president, expressed her gratitude to the president for his recognition and appreciation of the forum. She also agreed with his assessment of the quality of the discussion themes.

“According to its unchanging tradition, [the forum] focuses on the main events in the modern world and their reflection in the mirror of mass media. The modern world is contradictory. But on the forum agenda we have tried to fit in the most important, the most pressing and relevant problems affecting Eurasia and other parts of the world,” Nazarbayeva said.

“Our present media is, first and foremost, a grandiose social phenomenon of the 21st century. It is absolutely evident to me that the processes taking place in our industry desperately need research and conceptualisation. For this mission, the platform of our forum is simply an ideal venue,” Nazarbayeva said. “Our forum is increasingly perceived as an efficiently operating community of leading experts and specialists,” she concluded.

The moderator of the forum is TV host and producer of Al Jazeera International Riz Khan, who in his turn said, “What questions are planned to be raised is now known in some detail. In particular, it concerns the mass media, which impact the contemporary world. In the course of the forum we will have an opportunity to not only discuss these issues, but also to make globally important decisions.”

On the first day of the Eurasian Media Forum, delegates discussed issues of regional security following the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014, the situation in the Middle East, including the legacy of the Arab Spring and the ongoing war in Syria, and the feasibility of creating a green economy in Kazakhstan in the next few years.

Over two days, up to 600 delegates from 46 countries will take part in the work of the forum, with more than 350 media outlets covering the event.

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