ASHGABAT, 15 November 2011 – Reforming Turkmenistan’s media legislation to take into account new communication and information technologies was the focus of an OSCE-supported roundtable event that concluded today in Ashgabat.
The two-day event organized by the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat in co-operation with the Turkmenistan authorities and the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, brought together representatives of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, ministries and government institutions dealing with media legislation as well as representatives of print and electronic media.
Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, said: “I trust that the recommendations of the OSCE experts discussed at the event will be taken into consideration in the new law which is to be adopted soon. It is crucial that the new legislation is implemented allowing the media to function without restrictions.”
During the event, international and national experts discussed media regulation standards, the development of legal mechanisms to promote media freedom in Turkmenistan, as well as amending legislation to comply with international standards and better reflect the realities of the new technologies. Rules regulating accreditation procedures and activities of foreign correspondents and journalists in Turkmenistan, as well as respective international standards were also discussed.
Ambassador Sergei Belyaev, the Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat, in a message to the participants underlined: “The rapid development of new technologies requires advanced national legislation which would provide guarantees for media freedom and pluralism. The OSCE Centre in Ashgabat is ready to further contribute to the country’s efforts in upgrading its media legislation and bringing it into compliance with international standards and OSCE commitments Turkmenistan has undertaken.”
During this visit to Turkmenistan, Mijatović met with high-level government officials including Deputy Prime Minister Maysa Yazmuhamedova; Chairpeson of the Mejlis Akja Nurberdiyeva, Culture Minister Gulmyrat Myradov, Chairperson of the State Committee on TV, Radio and Cinematography Shadurdy Alovov, First Deputy Foreign Minister Vepa Hadjiyev, and Yazdursun Gurbannazarova, the Director of the Turkmen National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights under the President of Turkmenistan.
“I am encouraged by the discussions with my interlocutors,” said Mijatović. “We all agreed that the roundtable event was an important and timely contribution to the ongoing discussion on media legislation reform, and decided to continue our joint work in this area.”