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OSCE media freedom representative calls on South Caucasus states to fully implement access to information laws

Politics Materials 12 November 2010 20:51 (UTC +04:00)
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, today called on the authorities of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to respect the right of people's access to government-held information by implementing their countries' laws in this field, OSCE reported.
OSCE media freedom representative calls on South Caucasus states to fully implement access to information laws

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 12 /Trend, T.Konyayeva/

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, today called on the authorities of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to respect the right of people's access to government-held information by implementing their countries' laws in this field, OSCE reported.

"We need to change the culture of secrecy and confidentiality for a culture of transparency," Mijatovic told the 7th OSCE South Caucasus Media Conference, which ended today in Tbilisi.

"Media freedom and freedom of speech in the digital age mean giving everyone - not just a small number of people who own the dominant modes of mass communication, but everyone - an opportunity to use new technologies to participate in decision-making processes, to interact with each other and with public institutions and to share information about politics, public issues and popular culture."

She said the Internet was an open space for debate to which governments should facilite wider access.

"Minimum state interference in online, as well as in off-line media content, is a guarantee for pluralism, development and trust," she said.

Akaki Minashvili, the chair of the Georgian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee said the OSCE South Caucasus Media Conference, hosted by Georgia for the seventh consecutive year, functioned as a very important forum for discussion between governments and civil societies in the region.

The two-day event was organized by the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. It brought together more than 80 government officials, parliamentarians, journalists, media experts and civil society representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Two media experts from Kazakhstan also attended.

Participants adopted a declaration on access to information and new technologies in the South Caucasus.

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