On 20 and 21 October, in Tbilisi,Georgia, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media held an international conference on freedom of expression and freedom of internet in the South Caucasus.
Representatives from Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia attended the event.
On 20 October, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunya Miyatovich, opened the event, greeted conference participants, and wished good luck for everybody during two day conference.
The conference was continued by moderator Andrew Ryder, also of the OSCE. First, pro-rector of Bilgi University of Turkey Yaman Akdeniz spoke about the role of internet in the development of pluralism, international standards, and practice. He spoke on the “problems of internet management and advanced practice in the OSCE region.”
Looking through the OSCE Office on Freedom of the Media report for the first half of 2011, he emphasized that there are a lot of problems relating to freedom of expression on the internet.
Then, Internet Watch Foundation head Salamon Eve made spoke on the “role of self-management bodies in the development of internet pluralism”. He spoke about the positive influences of self-management bodies for the development of internet pluralism.
In addition, the head of the Guardian newspaper website, Georgina Henry, spoke about internet’s influence on print media.
In the second half of the session, the internet situation in the South Caucasus was discussed. All three experts from the region gave information on the internet situation in their countries and answered questions.
The second day of the conference focused on the situation of mass media and freedom of expression in South Caucasus countries. First, a representative from the Eurasia Partnership Forum, Tamara Zuarbishvili gave a speech on the "opinios on the situation of freedom of expression in Georgia: evaluations by people and reality"
Then, Emin Huseynov, Director of Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety, made a speech on “thoughts on the freedom of expression situation in Azerbaijan: internet’s role as the last island of freedom "
Finally, a representative from Internews Networking in Armenia, Nune Sarkisyan made a speech about media in Armenia.
To note, the conference, which is held at the initiatie of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of Mass Media, is held every year in october.