November 20th, 2009
On 19-20 November the sixth annual South Caucasus Media Conference was held in Tbilisi. During the conference media freedom issues in the region and the challenges that journalism faces in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia were discussed. Existing education opportunities for journalists, and best practices for journalism education were discussed and a declaration was adopted during the conference.

Reforms in media, state assistance in transferring to modern technologies, securing the pluralism of ideas on the internet, TV and radio and others were also reflected in the declaration (the entire text of the declaration will disseminated in the media.)

Azerbaijan’s representative, “Turan” Information Agency Director Mehman Aliyev made a speech on economic freedoms in the mass media.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Miklos Haraszti spoke during the conference, and said that problems related to freedom of speech exist in the South Caucasus countries and discussions with OSCE should be conducted to solve these issues. Haraszti emphasized that he called on Azerbaijan’s government to adopt a law on defamation and to release the imprisoned journalists. In conclusion he expressed hope for the solution of these issues.

National deputies Elmira Akhundova and Lale Abbasova, Norwegian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Jon Ramberg, “Turan” Information Agency Director Mehman Aliyev, Radio Liberty Baku Office Head Khadija Ismayilova, BSU Journalism Faculty Instructors Gulu Maharramli and Zeynal Mammadli, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov, Press Council Chairman Aflatun Amashov, APA Information Agency Head Vusala Mahirgizi, news website head Ilham safarov, news website head Elnur Baimov and the representatives of OSCE Baku Office and Presidential Administration took part in the conference.