Baku hosts joint opening of 5th News Agencies World Congress and 16th General Assembly of Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies President Ilham Aliyev attends the ceremony

Organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and AZERTAC, a joint opening ceremony of the 5th News Agencies World Congress and the 16th General Assembly of Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) has kicked off at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attends the opening ceremony.

The head of state is addressing the event.

Over the next three days Baku will be hosting gatherings of the world`s influential media organizations – the 5th News Agencies World Congress, the 16th General Assembly of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies and the 22nd meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of News Agencies. These events will be attended by delegates from 80 countries.

The Congress is bringing together 96 news agencies from 77 countries. It is attended by delegates from all the continents: 77 delegates from 39 news agencies of 31 Asian countries, 51 delegates from 30 agencies of 23 European countries, 25 delegates from 16 agencies of 16 African countries, 17 delegates from 9 news agencies in 7 countries in the Americas, and 4 delegates from 3 news agencies representing Australia.

The slogan of the 5th News Agencies World Congress is “New Challenges for News Agencies”. The Congress features several sessions, including “The future of news consumption”, “News agencies – challenges and opportunities of new technologies and social media”, “News agency innovation”, “Training journalists for a multi-media future”, “Protecting the journalists’ mission: freedom, access, safety and conflict zones”. It also addresses problems facing journalism, which is now in experiencing rapid transformation, and forms of cooperation between news agencies and different social media platforms.

Speakers at the sessions include presidents of the News Agencies World Congress, OANA, EANA, FANA, managers of Associated Press, Reuters, Xinhua, Anadolu Agency, TASS, Agence France-Press, Press Association, EFE, Yonhap, Kyodo, TT, SPA, BTA, AAP, IRNA, DPA, Notimex, ATPE and other leading news agencies, Los Angeles Times newspaper, Al Arabiya television channel, and experts from Tripod Advisors, News Corp, PwC, Axel Springer, Stibo Accelerator media companies.

The Congress will see presentation of a photo album featuring nearly 600 photographs by the participating agencies in “News”, “Festivities” and “Sport” categories. The photo album was published through partnership between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Baku Media Center.

The Congress will see AZERTAC sign agreements on news and experience exchange with Spanish EFE, Paraguayan IP and Bahraini BNA news agencies. Participants of the event will also elect members of the executive bodies of the Congress and adopt Declaration.

AZERTAC will take on a three-year presidency (2016-2019) of the Congress at the event.

Initiated by the Russian TASS news agency, the 1st News Agencies World Congress was held in Moscow on September 24-25, 2004. The three other congresses took place in Spain, Argentina and Saudi Arabia. The main body of the Congress is the Council. At the 4th Congress, which was hosted by Riyadh in 2013, Associated Press, Reuters, Press Association, SPA, TASS, EFE, Kuna, AZERTAC and TELAM agencies as well as secretaries general of EANA, OANA and FANA were elected as members of the Council. The Baku Congress will elect new members of the Council.

An initiative of UNESCO, the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies was founded in 1961 with the aim of expanding news exchange among regional news agencies. OANA`s members include 44 news agencies from 35 countries. Having joined OANA in 2004, AZERTAC has been elected a member of its Executive Board for three times. At the 15th General Assembly held in Moscow in 2013, AZERTAC was elected – by secret ballot – as president of the organization for 2016-2019.

The agenda of the 22nd session of the Council of CIS Heads of News Agencies encompasses a wide range of issues, including review of the organization`s activities in 2016, implementation of joint projects, and expansion of news exchange.