On 24-26 May, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, hosted the Media Forum of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as part of the country's SCO presidency. It was titled The Role of Media in the Development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The forum brought together over 100 representatives of media outlets and relevant government authorities from 12 countries and proceeded in the form of two panel sessions on the following topics: Dynamic Promotion of the SCO Platform through Media Resources of the SCO Countries and Creating a Single Platform for Effective Interaction between the Media of the SCO Countries.
In his remarks at the opening ceremony, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov pointed out that the media is playing an extremely important role as the SCO is rising to a new level of development and transformation in the context of the present global challenges. The media may become a catalyst in the establishment of a new information agenda for the SCO member states.
"The atmosphere both in a certain country and between our states depends on the position of the media and its responsible attitude. You are doing a great job not only for our countries but also for the entire world. It is believed that the media is an instant reflection of current world history. I would add: people see the world through your eyes. It is very important to have a predominantly positive content in our common SCO information space. There are sufficient reasons for this: a great constructive work is being done in the political and economic spheres as well as in cultural and humanitarian areas. Given this, constructive dialogue between the media communities of the SCO countries is playing an increasing role. It is the journalists who convey all the ideas, initiatives and programmes that are being implemented in the common SCO space," the President pointed out.
SCO Deputy Secretary-General Aizada Subakozhoeva read out the welcoming message of SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov, who noted that the forum is exceptionally important for direct communication between journalists, the sharing of professional experience and working out joint proposals on practical cooperation in the media within the SCO framework. The forum is also necessary for the analysis of current and nascent processes in the vast SCO space.
"The Organisation's international standing in the world information space is noticeably stronger with every year. The interest towards the SCO is constantly growing due to a timely and unbiased coverage by the leading SCO media. The role of the media in building an adequate image of the SCO over the 18 years that have passed since its inception is hard to overestimate.
"The SCO Secretariat has been working consistently on the provision of high-quality information support for the SCO's activities. It maintains regular contacts with major information agencies of the SCO member states, observer states and dialogue partners, as well as with the Press Club under the SCO Secretariat.
"The SCO Secretariat has entered into cooperation agreements with Xinhua, TASS and Kazinform news agencies.
"A proactive outreach effort is also being made via social networks and the SCO's official site.
"The SCO Secretariat is ready to work together with all the news agencies concerned to ensure that the SCO's voice, important objectives, tasks and principles are properly heard and perceived in the world," the SCO Secretary-General emphasised in his address.
Representatives of SCO member states' government agencies supervising the media also took the floor at the opening ceremony.
The Resolution of the SCO Media Forum, reflecting the participants' common desire to maintain cooperation in the media sphere, was adopted as its outcome document.