TASHKENT, 8 November 2011 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, welcomed today the readiness of Uzbekistan’s authorities to reform media legislation, which is needed to ensure media diversity.
“Effective media legislation framework is a precondition for ensuring media freedom,“ Mijatović said at the opening of a roundtable meeting on broadcasting regulation in Tashkent. “I am here in Tashkent to support the process of media legislation reform, especially in the broadcasting sector. It is positive that there is an ongoing public debate about this reform.”
During the event, international and national media experts discussed problems and prospects of broadcasting sector regulation. Reform of media legislation was launched following President Islam Karimov’s “Concept of further deepening democratic reforms and establishing civil society in the country” of November 2010.
Mijatović also stressed the need to ensure that new technologies “result in more, and not less media freedom”. “Internet has to be free,” she said. “Only then will a genuine diversity of views be guaranteed.”
Meeting with Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis Ulugbek Mukhammediev and Abdurashid Djurabaev, the Chairperson of the Committee on Information and Communication Technologies, Mijatović offered her Office’s continued support to Uzbekistan in reviewing its media legislation. “I welcome the fact that the authorities provided my Office with the draft laws on television and radio and on access to information. Taking into account our expert recommendations would help bring the new legislation in line with the OSCE media freedom commitments and international standards.”
At the sidelines of the roundtable event Mijatović met with the Deputy Head of UN and International Organizations Department of the Foreign Ministry Timur Rakhmonov, the Chairperson of National Association of Electronic Mass Media Firdavs Abdukhalikov, ,the Deputy Director-General of Press and Information Agency Ruzamat Safaev, the Director-General of the Communications and Information Agency of Uzbekistan Hakim Mukhitdinov, the Chairperson of the National Television and Radio Company Alisher Khadjaev, as well as with civil society and media representatives.
The meeting was supported by the Legislative Chamber Oliy Majlis of Republic of Uzbekistan, the National Association of Electronic Media and the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan.