Media – a bridge between civilizations

Oct 12. Kazpravda

By Yulia Mager

Media - a bridge between civilizationsAstana hosts a jubilee X Eurasian Media Forum.

Over the last decade, the Eurasian Media Forum has won international acclaim as a dialogue venue. It is traditionally attended by prominent media men, international experts and analysts, diplomats, politicians and public figures. This time about 430 delegates from over 40 countries have arrived in Astana for the EAMF 2012, which is covered by more than 200 Kazakh and foreign journalists.

Ten-year dialogue

RK PM Serik Akhmetov read out greetings from President Nursultan Nazarbayev, saying that in the 10 years the Eurasian Media Forum has become a unique dialogue platform of global level to exchange views on the most pressing issues of our time, a significant event for Kazakhstani and the international media.

“The new era of global availability and transparency of information pose new requirements to the media and its moral responsibility to society”, – said N. Nazarbayev, expressing confidence that the forum would further bring together journalists, politicians and community leaders to find solutions to the problems of geopolitics and media. The President wished fruitful discussions, inspiration and success to the Forum.

The moderator of the forum- Riz Khan- a well-known journalist and founder of the English-language network channel “Al Jazeera” noted that the Eurasian Media Forum is a rare opportunity to discuss global issues with powerful and important people, where the best specialists of West and East are trying to seek out solutions and build bridges, not walls, between civilizations.

Dariga Nazarbayeva, chair of the Organizing Committee of the Eurasian Media Forum thanked all those, who took part in its organization. The 10th Forum has changed its venue from Almaty to Astana, and from now on Astana will host the EAMF annually.

D. Nazarbayeva underlined that the EAMF principles remained the same: within two days the participants will talk about the world and the agenda of the Eurasian Media, sum up the results of 2011, and its media priorities, including the global economic crisis and its consequences.

World for war or for peace?

The first problem, raised by the X Eurasian Media Forum, was “War against terror: A la guerre comme a la guerre?” Moderator of the meeting – a presenter from TV channel “Al Jazeera English” Stephen Cole offered to talk on the ways and means of struggle, legal and moral aspects, and the notion of “war against terror” itself.

General Director of the Information Agency “Cihan” Abdulhamit Bilici (Turkey) drew attention to the fact that today every country is waging its own war against terrorism, instead of working together for the common goal.

Pressing issues of the agenda

Discussion “The Arab Spring”: a controlled chaos or awakening of democracy” has also drawn a significant response. Moderator of the meeting – the head of the Near East Bureau of Russia Today Paula Slier (Israel) offered to focus on background and reasons for revolutionary events in Africa and the Arab world, the role of international institutions in military conflicts in the problem areas, the causes of military intervention in sovereign countries and so on.

Another dialogue was on “Kazakhstan’s anti-nuclear initiatives in the context of the situation around the Iranian nuclear program”. The speakers, including Ramin Mehmanparast (Iran), a member of the UK Parliament George Galloway, Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM Project Karipbek Kuyukov and others attended it. Kazakhstan’s practice shows that even without a nuclear weapons arsenal, it is possible to cooperate fruitfully with the largest nuclear powers in production and transportation of nuclear fuel, and its safe storage. And a positive potential of this experience must be used constructively to ease tensions on the nuclear issue.

Final topic of the first day of the Forum was double standards in the media, the bias and prejudice, provocations and misinformation, the differences in Eastern and Western media, the market-based approach to the coverage of events, and independence of the media.

The first day of the Eurasian Media Forum was rich in the offered ideas. Today the Forum continues its work. Debates are ahead on economic, political, social and cultural crisis in the euro zone, further development of economic integration in the light of the Customs Union (Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus), “Wikileaks”, the increasing role of Internet technologies in development of the world’s political processes.