The Republic of Azerbaijan hosted a very important event from October 31 to November 1, 2013 – the 3rd Baku International Humanitarian Forum.
The Forum, which consisted of an official opening ceremony, plenary session and eight round tables, was attended by representatives of 70 countries, reputable international organizations as well as former heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, prominent scientists and politicians, heads of leading media outlets. Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Vladimir Putin of Russia are co-chairs of the Forum.
Participation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in the official opening ceremony and his substantial speech multiplied the socio-political, scientific and philosophical significance of the event. The 3rd Baku International Humanitarian Forum went beyond the humanitarian bounds to grow into the platform for discussing the entire spectrum of the issues humanity is concerned of. The forum touched upon a wide range of humanitarian topics, looked into the ways of solving problems the humanity faced at the present stage of development. All these issues were enshrined in the Declaration of the international Forum.
The information support for the event was provided by AzerTAc on the Azerbaijani part and ITAR-TASS on the Russian one.
The round table “The Topical Issues of Mass Media in the Globalizing Information Network” was organized by Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency (AzerTAc).
Each question in the agenda of the round table was discussed in a separate panel. The first panel discussed the issues of modern media as a good platform for introduction of new technologies; the second one looked into the role of journalism for the better understanding among people in the new millennium when mutual understanding among peoples, races, cultures, religions and social groups became even more topical; while the third panel focused on the links between conventional news industry and rapidly developing social media.
The round table was attended by foreign politicians, culture figures, heads of influential media outlets, experts, professors and lecturers, journalism students from higher educational institutions of Azerbaijan.
The first panel was moderated by Mikhail Gusman, first deputy Director General, editor-in-chief of the ITAR-TASS agency, Russia
Opening the panel, AzerTAc Director General Aslan Aslanov noted that the spectrum of issues on the agenda of the meeting is pretty much broad. He said: “In our profession, it is very important to keep up with high tech progress and embed them into our routine work on time. Technological progress has a strong impact on our everyday work. Internet and social networks, which had not existed lately, have become an integral part of our everyday work.”
First Deputy Director General of ITAR-TASS Mr. Mikhail Gusman noted that the media of the 21st century differs very much from the media of the past, and social journalism already creates a social platform.
Then, break-out sessions were continued with presentations. Mr. David Parry, chairman, Allting Ltd., poet, dramaturge, UK; Mr. David Cameron Cuthell, Adjunct Associate Professor, the Middle East Institute, Columbia University, U.S.; Mr. Alex Giboi, Director General, AGERPRES, Romania; Mr. Dauren Diyarov, Director, Kazinform agency, Kazakhstan; Mr. Shamil Valiyev, Dean, Journalism Department, Baku State University, spoke of the media and contemporary challenges, and emphasized the importance of expanding the application of technologies in terms of increasing the capacity of media. There were interesting discussions and feedback as Azerbaijani MP, writer Ms. Elmira Akhundova expressed her opinion on the presentations.
The second panel was moderated by Mr. David Cameron Cuthell, Adjunct Associate Professor, the Middle East Institute, Columbia University, U.S. The panel heard reports by Mr. Vladimir Socor, Senior Fellow, Jamestown Foundation, U.S.; Mr. Aslan Aslanov, Director General, AzerTAc, Azerbaijan; Ms. Julia Argentina Perié, member of Chamber of Deputies, National Congress, Argentina; Mr. Alovsat Aliyev, head of department, Institute of Information Technologies, associate professor, PhD, Azerbaijan; Ms. Irina Astakhova, Editor-in-Chief, Kishinevskiy Obozrevatel newspaper, director of MLD Media Research Center, Moldova; Ms. Marina Kim, TV channel Rossiya, Russia; Ms. Aynur Karimova, teacher, Baku State University, Azerbaijan; Mr. Yadigar Imamverdiyev, head of department, Institute of Information Technologies, Azerbaijan. The presentations focused on development of intercivilizational dialogue, tolerance, role of mass media in popularization of mutual understanding among various peoples and religions. The speakers said that the number and scope of global threats facing humanity are increasing in the age of globalization. They said that to withstand these threats, prevent discrepancies and conflicts it is necessary to make more efforts at a global level. The speakers said it can be achieved through intercivilizational dialogue, and that great responsibility here lies with the mass media.
In his “Dialogue – key to tolerance. Role of media as a tool for introducing multiculturalism values” presentation, Mr. Aslan Aslanov noted that great responsibility lies with mass media in terms of popularizing in societies the multiculturalism, ideas of tolerance, dialogue among various peoples, races, cultures, religious as well as building tolerant thinking and preventing the spread of extremism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and violence in the countries they operate.
Moderated by Mr. Alex Giboi, Director General of AGERPRES agency, Romania, the third panel saw presentations by Mr. Sergey Braga, Editor-in-Chief, Uryadoviy Kuryer newspaper, Ukraine; Ms. Sigrid Kõiv, editor, Postimees newspaper, Estonia; Mr. Kirill Shevchenko, professor, Minsk branch of Russian State Social University, Belarus; Ms. Amanda Paul, Policy Analyst and Programme Executive, European Policy Center, Belgium; Ms. Sabina Izzatli, teacher, Baku Slavic University, Azerbaijan; Ms. Sevinj Aliyeva, deputy dean, Journalism Department, Baku State University, associate professor, Azerbaijan.
The speakers paid attention to the role of social networks in transformation of the modern society and their impact on the political processes on a global scale, the future of media together with internet and social networks, which have become an integral part of the society, extent to which press agencies will be able to keep their leading role in the industry. They said that multimedia technologies have become one of realities in our everyday life.
Other speakers said the Baku International Humanitarian Forum is of great importance on a global scale, highlighted Azerbaijan`s successful organization of international events on humanitarian issues, and thanked President Ilham Aliyev for the excellent organization of the Forum.
Throughout the event the participants saw AzerTAc-made video material as part of the agency`s Travelling across Azerbaijan Project.
The round table participants discussed and unanimously adopted the Declaration.