ASTANA, Kazakhstan, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The 11th annual Eurasian Media Forum (EAMF), which took place on April 25-26 in Kazakhstan's capital city of Astana, has drawn praise from all sides as a leadingt platform for regional and East-West dialogue.
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Welcoming some 600 delegates from 46 countries, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, stressed the importance of the media as a unifying influence in society.
The Forum itself had already made a unique contribution to international understanding and to Eurasian integration, through its open exchange of views involving the media. It was now one of the leading regional dialogue platforms, he said.
As in previous years, the delegates included prominent politicians, economists, businessmen and journalists. Close to 350 international mass media covered the event.
President Nazarbayev's positive view of the Forum was echoed by many of the participants from East and West. Russia's Channel One TV host, Maxim Shevchenko, said it was one of the most significant intellectual and political events he knew. US Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Roy Gutman, attending his first Forum, said its value lay both in its international exchanges and in its coverage of regional issues, such as progress towards a Eurasian Economic Union.
The XI Eurasian Media Forum included prominent speakers such as Iranian presidential candidate Hooshang Amirahmadi, Minister-Counsellor to President of Afghanistan Mokhammad Yahya Maroofi, editor-in-chief of Turkish Today Zaman newspaper Bulent Kenes, Kazakh Minister for Environmental Protection Nurlan Kapparov, former Deputy Prime Minister of Greece Theodoros Pangalos, UK member of parliament George Galloway and many others.
Riz Khan, celebrated Al-Jazeera International TV host and producer, once again served as the moderator for the XI Eurasian Media Forum.
The agenda comprised six sessions over two days. Experts devoted the first two sessions to instability issues in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Military operations were due to cease in Afghanistan, but experts were apprehensive of new outbreaks in the wake of the planned pullout of NATO and US troops from the region. Al-Jazeera International (UK) senior TV host Stephen Cole moderated the session, which involved Minister-Counsellor to President of Afghanistan Mokhammad Yahya Maroofi, Iran's presidential candidate Hooshang Amirahmadi, Russian TV host Maxim Shevchenko and other experts.
Discussions about Kazakhstan's hosting of EXPO-2017 and the formation of a Eurasian Economic Union (EEC) were among the more upbeat notes of the Forum. Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov spoke of advantages that the EEC member-nations would hope to enjoy, whereas the former Deputy Prime Minister of Greece Theodoros Pangalos gave a series of recommendations based on Greece's membership in the European Union.
The second day of the Forum was marked by incisive speeches by world A-list journalists. TV host of Russia Today Alexander Gurnov (Russia), US writer and journalist Greg Palast, British journalist Julian Nundy and others speculated about information security and media innovations.
The chairperson of the EAMF's organizing committee, Dr. Dariga Nazarbayeva, delivered the concluding speech at the closing ceremony of the XI Eurasian Media Forum. Expressing her gratitude to the participants and guests of the Forum, Dr. Nazarbayeva announced the date of the next Eurasian Media Forum, the 12th, which is due to take place in Astana on the 24th and 25th of April, 2014.
Overall, organisers and participants of the XI Eurasian Media Forum said the conference was to be praised for its operational efficiency, its wide-ranging and sometimes heated discussions and its exchange of differing viewpoints on the topical problems under consideration.
SOURCE Eurasian Media Forum Organizing Committee